Quick Take: Apple Seeks a Repeat Performance

Will Londoners camp out for an iPhone? We'll find out Nov. 9, when the device becomes available from Telefonica's (NYSE: TEF  ) O2 and U.K. electronics retailer Carphone Warehouse.

I suspect that initial sales will be brisk. Why? Priced at 269 pounds (including value-added tax), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) is demanding virtually no premium when compared with other smartphones. For example, Palm's (Nasdaq: PALM  ) Treo 750 sells for 369 pounds, or about $735 U.S., at London's Eatay.com.

But Europe is also where Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) and its multimedia phones are at their strongest. O2 sells plenty of them, including the N95, which houses an MP3 player, as the iPhone does, but also includes a built-in GPS navigation system.

The N95 could also be cheaper. Apple is asking that subscribers pony up 35 pounds a month for an entry-level iPhone plan. For the same price, O2 is giving away the N95.

But let's give Apple some credit. In an interesting twist, the Mac's daddy has convinced O2 to include free unlimited access to the U.K.'s largest Wi-Fi network, which, according to Apple, covers more than 7,500 locations across the country.  

Come November, London's average temperature should dip to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. So bundle up, Mac addicts. Pack some tea. It's going to be chilly in line.


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