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Summary:

I have often wondered if Apple’s iPhone is primarily a U.S. phenomenon or if it’s having an impact overseas, too. Earlier this morning, when Google released its Zeitgest, I conducted an unscientific comparison, though it doesn’t take into account actual sales of the devices. My logic […]

ref_iphone3g_pair I have often wondered if Apple’s iPhone is primarily a U.S. phenomenon or if it’s having an impact overseas, too. Earlier this morning, when Google released its Zeitgest, I conducted an unscientific comparison, though it doesn’t take into account actual sales of the devices.

My logic (to me at least) was — since search is about intent to acquire information, it is a good enough (if somewhat crude) indicator of what a large mass of users are thinking. Google’s Zeitgest is calculated by taking the most popular searches conducted for 11 months of 2008 and ranking them based on how much their frequency increased compared to 2007. 

  • In the U.S., Apple’s iPhone was at the No. 4 spot. 
  • In the UK, the iPhone was at the No. 3 spot. 
  • In Australia, the iPhone was ranked No. 1, much like the Netherlands. 
  • In Czech Republic, it was ranked No. 2. 
  • In Singapore it was No. 4.

At a global level, it didn’t crack the top 10, just like in large countries such as Brazil, India, Argentina, and substantial parts of Europe (Germany, France, Italy) and Eastern Europe. These indicators dovetail with the actual sales of the iPhone, and if recent numbers are to be believed, the majority of the sales are still in the U.S. anyway. 

To be fair, the iPhone 3G has been available around the world for only a few months, so perhaps we will see a bigger impact next year.

  1. Now that O2 here in the UK announced the iPhone is Pay as you go, I may be tempted now. I was not prepared before to pay for a contract with O2 for 18months.

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  2. From what i’ve heard, most smaller countries think of the iPhone as a toy, not a serious gadget for productivity, and many consider it too expensive too (re: comment above). Probably 60% of the sales are still in the US, and i’m not sure that’ll change too much, even next year.

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  3. In India, its just a fashion statement….too expensive to have without a proper 3G speed to use.

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  4. [...] posted here:  How Hot is iPhone Globally? – GigaOM Leave a comment Comment RSS Previous: Electronista | Korea lifts legal hurdle to [...]

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  5. come on..
    we get it for the brand not for the features ..
    they are TONS of phones that actualy cando the same thing as the i phone. for less money…

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  6. Lillie08, most likely you don’t own or never use an iPhone. Because I don’t think you can name one phone that can do everything the iPhone can do, with the same simplicity, elegance and ease of use.

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  7. There are countries where simplicity, elegance and ease of use doesn’t count for much. Places such as Japan and Korea. They want certain features that the iPhone can’t deliver. It’s as simple as that. Due to the iPhones intended simplicity it lacks common features that comes standard on even cheap handsets. Little kids in Korea and Japan use complicated UI handsets and it doesn’t bother them at all as long as they can do the few things they want to do such as send pictures instantly or record videos to send to friends instantly. Whether Americans or Apple consider these features useful or not is not the point. Asians like this sort of stuff and the iPhone doesn’t have any of it. Imagine a high-end handset that doesn’t even record video although the hardware is there. That’s a bad joke in any country.

    The iPhone is a fine device, no doubt, but it has it’s limitations. It’s using an OS that is still being developed and is only up to 80% of it’s true potential. Snow Leopard Mobile should change that when it hits the iPhone.

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  8. In india it is not that much popular. Because of the hefty price tag.

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  9. [...] like Truphone has taken the leadership for low cost international calling on what is becoming a most popular smartphone (as well as several other smartphones). Does the combination of Truphone’s announcement and [...]

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  10. Some other data that might support the US-centric use of the iPhone is in the distribution of iPhone app sales. For example, one of our apps has consistently averaged about 40% of its downloads from the US. The second on the list is Japan with about 10%.

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