updated 08:50 am EST, Fri December 21, 2007
LG Viewty versus iPhone
LG's Viewty touchscreen phone may well be outselling the iPhone in the UK despite the sheer amount of publicity, according to an update from the national phone reseller Dial-a-Phone. Also known as the KU990, the device has sold about 310,000 units since going on sale in Europe in early November, overlapping the same period as the British and German iPhone launches. The number amounts to about 6,300 phones sold per day and has outperformed sales of the already successful and less costly Chocolate and Shine lines during similar periods, according to LG.
By contrast, Apple has been exceptionally quiet regarding its sales numbers, says Dial-a-Phone. Although as many as 70,000 iPhones were sold through O2 in the UK during the first weekend and were backed by extra sales from French and German buyers, the company has declined to publish figures and has reportedly blocked analyst group Gfk from tracking point-of-sale numbers, preventing an accurate assessment.
"As far as I’m aware this is first time that a mobile phone handset’s sales have been blocked," the reseller says. "I wonder why?"
Dial-a-Phone attributes the relative success to both technical features and cost. The 5-megapixel camera with flash and 3G Internet access are labeled as clear advantages over the current iPhone, which includes a 2-megapixel flashless camera and a slower 2.5G connection. Meanwhile, the iPhone costs £269 and is available solely through O2, the Viewty like many European phones is available for free depending on the nature of the plan; it can also be used with any one of several carriers on shorter contracts, the reseller says.
"The iPhone interface and usability are amazing but Apple’s greed has resulted in the iPhone sales falling way short of its potential," the company argues. "The iPhone could have been market leader but when it costs so much, is only available on one network, and is only available in certain shops and websites, it is never going to reach its true potential."
Dial-a-phone's criticism is believed to stem in part from its exclusion from the iPhone's initial sales strategy, which limits the device's British sales to official Apple and O2 stores as well as the third-party firm Carphone Warehouse.