Carphone Warehouse has said it expects the iPhone 5 to be its bestselling handset of 2012 as retailers and operators gear up for the pre-order period starting tomorrow (14 September).
The latest iteration of the device was revealed last night, with the handset packing a larger screen, faster processor, better camera and 4G capabilities. EE, O2, Vodafone and Three will all be selling the device but pricing is still to be confirmed. A spokesperson for EE said: 'Orange and T-Mobile iPhone 5 customers will also be able to move to EE – to get superfast 4G – when it launches in the coming weeks.'
Carphone Warehouse CEO Andrew Harrison predicted that 15% of mobile phone customers will upgrade to a smartphone in the next three months. He said: 'We predict that more consumers than any other handset launched this year will purchase the iPhone 5. In 2007, the launch of the first iPhone sparked a commercial renaissance, driving customers into our stores to buy the handset. Since then, we have sold more than 1.6 million iPhones, more than any other independent retailer.'
He described the new device as Apple 'raising the bar' on smartphones and said the retailer will also see 'unprecedented demand' for the handset, accessories and insurance cover.
Scott Hooton, CCO at Phones 4u, said it had experienced a slight dip in demand for new iPhones on last year. He added: 'We're expecting very happy customers after today’s Apple announcement regarding the launch of the iPhone 5, as a slimmer device, increased speed, improved camera, and a larger display ranked as the things our customers wanted most from a new iPhone amongst those we polled recently.'
Meanwhile, 20:20 Mobile said it is anticipating a boost in accessory sales in the wake of the iPhone 5 launch. He said the current iPhone accessories market was worth £100m. New accessories will come to market after Apple shrunk the size of its dock connector. 20:20 Mobile marketing and purchasing director Andrew Peat said: 'Apple continues to drive mobile accessories sales and this launch will be key to the success of the UK accessory market in 2012.'
Editor: Graeme Neill