G1 fails to live up to hype


T-Mobile maintained last week early sales of the T-Mobile G1 Android handset have been good, despite claims from T-Mobile and Carphone store staff to the contrary.

T-Mobile retail director Andrew Coull said: “We are exceeding our expectations so far. Customers have been really excited about it. And, for me, it is the focus of our Christmas contract push, alongside our prepay drive.”

But stores around the UK said last week sales had been disappointing, and did not reflect the 30,000 pre-orders T-Mobile had claimed ahead of launch. Staff blamed a combination of lack of marketing, lack of aesthetic appeal for many customers and its £40 per month purchase price, £5 less than the iPhone 3G on O2.

One Carphone staffer said: “It hasn’t sold well at all, and I don’t think it will. It’s a good phone, but people don’t seem to want it. It’s too bulky in comparison to the iPhone, but does much the same.”

Another in London said: “Sales have been very poor; we have only sold one or two. We still sell on average three iPhones a day so the difference is clear. A lot of people are looking at it, but not buying it. At the moment it’s failing miserably.”

A T-Mobile store advisor claimed sales had been “slow” in its first two weeks, saying it had a very limited audience.

“Pre-launch interest has certainly not matched sales after launch,” he said. “There are too many high-end, high-spec phones with high megapixel cameras out there, and Christmas is likely to attract kids who want those.

“T-Mobile has failed to market it properly. Can anyone remember an advert for it? Apple went over the top with its marketing, and it worked. Maybe we [T-Mobile] are waiting until after Christmas.”

Another T-Mobile staffer said: “It’s not selling a great. Personally I have only sold two and they were both on upgrades.”