UK iPhone reactions mixed, loud

With UK-based Carphone Warehouse estimating first-day sales of Apple's iPhone at 10,000 or more, observers in England are beginning to gripe about the same things American iPhone consumers have been griping about since last spring. Where to begin? The servers used to activate the phones can't handle the massive swell of eager consumers unboxing and activating their iPhones. There's no Skype. Lack of 3G network support. Incomplete Bluetooth support. A persistent inability to develop anything besides web-based apps for the thing.

Apple took steps to rectify at least some of these concerns by announcing a Software Developer's Kit, a seemingly tardy bit of news. Some believe this tardiness had more to do with the timing of Leopard's release than with the eventuality of third-party apps on the iPhones. We just think Apple got caught off guard and made an error in judgment by telling the world, "hey, it has Safari and that's enough." (As if.) Apparently, even Chinese phone hackers demonstrate that a better development environment is needed, despite having no 'official' network to connect their iPhones to.

Now the rumor mill is really crackling with promise, though. It seems that O2, the mobile operator who plays AT&T in the British iPhone analogy, may not be gifted with the same tolerant regulatory attitude that greeted the exclusive AT&T deal in the United States, meaning there are people in the UK pushing for an actual legislative termination of the O2 exclusive. And, while everybody's been waiting to hear what content partnerships Apple has up its sleeve for this touchscreen-enabled golden goose, it appears YouTube may be among the first to pony up a tasty third-party add-on for the iPhone.

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