iPhone Roundup: "Small But Enthusiastic" In India; Orange Poland Hires Actors; O2 UK Sells Out

Dianne See Morrison
Friday, August 22, 2008; 1:00 PM

-- India's "small but enthusiastic" reception: Maharajas, rich kids, and entrepreneurs: so that's who's buying the iPhone in India, according to a Reuters report from the front line, which found that the launch of the iconic handset in India had "none of the mass hysteria" that accompanied its debut in the US, Europe and other parts of Asia in July. Priced at $700-$800 in India, or twice the monthly salary of a white collar middle manager, the iPhone response was predicted. Still, it was an "enthusiastic reception," and for those who can afford it, the phone gives them bragging rights in a country where mobile phones are still seen as "symbols of status and success," and where the phone has already enjoyed a strong run in the black market. As 14 year-old high school student Rudra Khurana, standing in line with his father, said, "I can't wait to show it off at school, it's way better than having a PlayStation."

-- Orange Poland dials up some actors: Meanwhile, operator Orange isn't taking any chances with its launch of the iPhone in Poland. There were worries that hefty data charges would dampen interest, so Orange admits a spokesman to Reuters have hired actors to stand in line at their stores. He said: "We have these fake queues at front of 20 stores around the country to drum up interest in the iPhone." T-Mobile, the other operator selling iPhones in Poland, meanwhile have no lines yet at their stores.

-- O2 UK sells out online: In the UK, however, O2, Apple's exclusive operator partner, reported on its web site today that it has sold out of the handsets on their online stores, and has limited availability at its retail stores. It also referred people to Carphone Warehouse, the only phone retailer to sell the iPhone and said it expected to get more stock in on a weekly basis.

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