iPhone Interest Quadruples For O2 UK, 30 Million Global Sales Forecast

Maybe Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) will meet that 10 million iPhones target after all. O2, the exclusive UK carrier, says more than 130,000 people have used its online form to pre-register their interest in the new 3G handset since its announcement last week. That’s nearly four times the 35,000 pre-registrations O2 got for iPhone 1.0 between last September and November. And it doesn’t include an equivalent form from retail partner Carphone Warehouse.

It’s not down to the GPS or the Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Exchange support. The new handset’s best feature is the price – the 8Gb flavour down from the original £269 on a £35pm contract to just £99, or free on £45pm and above. That additional subsidy to eliminate the handset cost makes iPhone 2.0 cheaper than the AT&T’s (NYSE: T) pricepoint in its native US. All of which rather goes against Apple’s original insistence on no subsidies – but whatever gets you the sales…

CCS Insight mobile researcher Ben Wood reckons Apple “is on course to smash its original target” with 30 million sales over the next 12 months, he says on Telegraph.co.uk: “(Apple) has taken an aspirational device and delivered it an affordable price point. The volume will be extraordinary.”