Shoppers were queuing around the block at O2 stores in London’s West End this morning, hoping to get their hands on the new Apple 3G iPhone, which went on sale early today.
Queuers outside the O2 flagship on London’s Oxford Street reported that at least five phone stores in central London had sold out of the new iPhone by 10am.
‘We have queued at several shops so far and been disappointed, but I’m not leaving this town without a 16GB iPhone,’ says product design graduate from Northumbria University Rick Toogood, from the back of the queue. Toogood is currently exhibiting at the New Designers show at the Business Design Centre, London N1.
‘The interface is like no other phone – everything about it makes sense. These people ahead of me had better be getting 8GB models,’ he adds.
Priced at £99 for the 8GB model and £159 for the 16GB version, the iPhone is exclusively available on the O2 network.
‘We were offering an online ordering service allowing purchasers to jump the queues, but we have just been told to ask those who turn up that they will also have to join the back of the line,’ says an O2 sales assistant, handing out muffins and water to those in the queue.
‘It is taking about half an hour per person to make the sale and initialise the phone, so people will be lining up for many hours yet,’ she adds.
Apple claims that the 3G is able to network twice as fast as the first iPhone, which was released in November last year.
The new phone goes on sale today in the UK, the US and 19 other countries.