Sunday, August 24, 2008

More iPhone Launch News

As the international date line marched across the globe late last night, iPhones began going on sale in the Philippines and 21 other countries. TUAW reports that there was a sold-out party counting down until iPhones went on sale in the Philippines, the first of the latest batch of countries to launch the iPhone 3G. iPhones are reportedly selling well in India, despite high prices and lack of 3G networking. Unlocked iPhones are on sale in Greece, as is the law, starting at a hefty €459 (US$679), though opting for iPhone 500 super plus plan can shave off €176 (US$260).
iPhone 3G went on sale today in 22 additional countries, adding some 300 million potential customers.

Orange Poland, however, wasn't quite as optimistic. To "warm up the atmosphere around the launch of the iPhone," Orange marketers in that country apparently hired actors to pretend to be iPhone customers wanting in line, hoping to generate significant buzz. I'm no expert on the mobile market in Poland, so I can't vouch if such a move was necessary, but my gut tells me it wasn't. There certainly has been a buzz, though—about how lame of Orange it was to pull such a stunt.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster noted this morning that Apple has nearly doubled its potential market base with the addition of 22 countries, to a total of 660 million potential subscribers. Odds are good that if even a small percentage of that base opts for an iPhone, Apple will easily exceed even its own sales expectations. For his part, Munster remains bullish on iPhone sales projections, adding that "we believe shares of AAPL will trade on iPhone unit volumes for the next several quarters, so we expect the iPhone unit upside to be a positive catalyst for the stock."


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