Supply issues hit iPhone 4S sales

 

The latest iPhone has failed to become the UK's best-selling handset during its first full month on the market - because retailers cannot stock it quickly enough to keep up with demand.

Apple's new iPhone 4S was beaten to the top of the Mobile Tracker handset chart in November by the Samsung Galaxy S II, which has been the best-selling device for eight consecutive months.

But independent price comparison and switching service uSwitch.com, which compiles Mobile Tracker based on live searches and sales, said this was due to stock shortages.

Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, said: "The iPhone 4S has generated a huge level of interest from consumers, and retailers have found it tough to cope with the high demand.

"This situation has been compounded by the iPhone 4S's surprising level of affordability. Now free from just £35 per month, the iPhone 4S is priced competitively against other major smartphones, and demand certainly reflects that.

"However, this should not take anything away from Samsung's achievement with the ever-popular Galaxy S II. It is undoubtedly the phone of the year, critically acclaimed and capturing the interest of smartphone addicts across the country for the last eight months."

The iPhone 4S was launched in the UK on October 14, just nine days after Apple's pioneering former chief executive Steve Jobs died following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.

It includes a camera with advanced optics; Siri, a so-called intelligent assistant that "helps you get things done just by asking"; and iCloud, a service which synchronises content across multiple devices.

The Mobile Tracker chart for November looked like this:

1. Samsung Galaxy S II - Android - No change

2. iPhone 4S (16GB) - Apple iOS - Up 4 places

3. Samsung Galaxy Ace - Android - Down 1 place

4. iPhone 4 (16GB) - Apple iOS - Down 1 place

5. HTC Wildfire S - Android - Down 1 place

6. Nokia Lumia 800 - Windows Phone 7 - New entry

7. Samsung Galaxy Note - Android - New entry

8. Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Android - New entry

9. HTC Sensation XE - Android - New entry

10. Sony Ericsson Arc S Black - Android - Up 2 places

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