UPDATED 28 JAN 08: Adrian Weckler says, "Figures from Britain revealed that Apple and O2 failed to reach target sales of 200,000 in the mobile's first two months on sale there. Analysts cited the high cost of the mobile, intense competition from rivals and the long contract period on a single network required to purchase an iPhone. Two weeks ago, Jobs put a positive spin on the phone's initial sales figures, claiming a market share of 20 per cent in the business-focused smartphone market. Jobs had planned a target of 10 million iPhone sales in 2008, approximately one per cent of the global phone market." 
CHECKING WITH IRISH bookmakers, it's possible to get odds on the iPhone failing--just like it's possible to get odds on for nearly any other wager you want to place. I want to bet on something related to the iPhone's battery and am looking at the 150/1 chance of the iPhone spontaneously combusting. With a battery you cannot remove and a charger connected to a mains outlet aboard Irish Rail, you could overboost the recharging voltage into the phone and at least get the battery to smolder. If it does not spontaneously combust, you could get some good odds on the battery going flat. I've practised this technique already with a Dell laptop and although I didn't get combustion, I got melted plastic and acrid odors. Fellow passengers blamed the result on bad coffee served by the online catering staff.
BetUS.com offers 10/1 odds on mass reports emerging that the iPhone does not give its much-touted 8-hour battery life. That's a good bet.
Adrian Weckler is offering EUR 50 as a bet against the iPhone getting 0.5 per cent of the European market by the end of 2008. That's a good wager because the first generation of iPhones arrive at dealers locked down both physically and electronically. You cannot remove the on-board SIM without a jeweler's steady hand and a Dremel. You cannot find the network without connecting the phone to a computer for its activation sequence. [CAUTION: Grey market iPhones may be electronically coded against activation outside of authorised sales centres.] You might expect initial activation to happen at the point of sale but for your music library to work, you have to cable your phone to your iTunes account. As a senior lecturer in a creative multimedia degree programme, no more than 15% of my students cable their phones to computers. They drag and drop their playlists onto memory cards instead. Having to work with on-board memory changes the way people are used to working with their phones. Dunno if that's smart.
What deserves a hat tip is the remarkable marketing bounce Apple enjoys with the launch of the iPhone. Apple continues to appeal to consumers--not just the tech-aware crowd--like no other company in technology. It gets column inches and achieves product awareness with a marketing budget smaller than companies like Intel, Microsoft or Hewlett-Packard. My mom knows there's an iPhone. She's 81 years old, has never used a computer, and asked me if I was getting an iPhone. For my unwired mother, Apple leads the pack in Marketing 2.0. For those with SSIA money sloshing around in Irish bank accounts, I'd buy Apple stock now and hold it for a month. It's sure to rise on the heels of the iPhone's first month of sales even though the product is most certainly going to fall short in the value-for-money stakes when compared to multimedia phones currently on offer in Europe. They come with 3G connectivity, bountiful memory and easy access to add-on software. While I'm sure the iPhone will slot into car systems and home entertainment suites, both SonyEricsson and Nokia deliver more for my money and have a track record for long-lasting, simple-to-use multimedia communications capability.
After all is said and done, I know many of my readers will go for the iPhone because it suits their lifestyles. And well they should The iPhone is truly a mass market device, designed to bring aspects of mobility to people who have never tasted the sensation before. These newbies will enjoy wonderful browsing, syncing, and connection switching. However, true mobile warriors need HSDPA, DUN, office applications, image capture, video playback and removeable local storage. You won't get those features on an iPhone and if you have ever used a third generation N95, you won't think much of the first edition of the iPhone. And that's the conclusion most of the European market will make as the iPhone will fail to reach 10% market share before the end of 2008.
Live Science -- "Odds Given on iPhone Failure"
Adrian Weckler -- "iPhone 1.0: Biggest Tech Flop in History"
Tom Raftery -- "Apple's iPhone Launch"
Previously -- "Multitouch"
1. Adrian Weckler -- "3G Stores predicts sales boost for 2008 as iPhone hits stores" in YourTech, The Sunday Business Post, 28 January 2008.