Gadget fans are in a frenzy in the United States where Apple’s latest must-have product – the iPhone – goes on sale. In business terms it is intended to build on the success of the company’s iPod music and video players and make Apple much more of a consumer electronics giant.
Lawrence Harris, a technology analyst with Oppenheimer, said: “The level of interest in the device is almost unprecedented. You have over 100 million iPods out there, that is a natural market. The company is one of the premiere consumer electronic firms out there and if anyone can change consumer buying patterns Apple is the company.”
Apple is hoping that this can be as big a success in mobile phone terms as the iPod was with digital music, as well as expand the market for the company’s software and media services.
Customers queuing outside Apple’s main New York shop were certainly enthusiastic. One man said: “I’m one of those who have never waited in line for a product but like nine months ago when I heard rumours the iPhone was coming out, I decided I was going to wait in line, something I really wanted. It’s worth it.”
Apple is putting a lot of faith in the product, as are its investors. The company’s shares have risen 30% since the phone was announced in January.
The plan is to sell ten million of them next year which would given Apple 1% of the world mobile phone market and bring in at least 3.7 billion euros of revenue.