What the #### is Apple/02 in the UK thinking about, how can they justify selling the now 'old' iPhone 3g on pay as you go for £342.54 over here, when in the US it now retails for only $99 (£61) on pay as you go?!?!?!?
Yes, we do have it very good over here in the UK if compared to the US. The Americans are rightly griping about how consistently expensive their mobile services are. Having to pay to receive calls and messages is not fun; I accept that some view that as a fair arrangement, but the combined charges to both ends for calls and messages is about 2X UK/EU rates.
We even have wonderful EU regulation mandating a minimum 24 month warranty on our electronic devices (that's true for everything else electronic I've bought, though I am not sure if this applies to the iPhone as well).
But that's relative to the US. In less relative terms, it's still very expensive to buy and own an iPhone.
You can't fault Apple for clever marketing. They brought out a phone in 2007 that had major features missing and an awful camera, yet people were desperate to get one and pay full price with a contract.
Personally, I bought the 3G as it does everything I want and does it well.
It cost me less at £342 than my previous HTC Touch Diamond at £392 (sim-free).
iPod's and iPhones aren't the best devices out there but they are desirable because of hype and marketing. I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with that, it's how these businesses make money.
As for exclusivity that's another clever marketing ploy which is used widely (remember the "reassuringly expensive" Stella Artois ads?)
With regard to pricing, Apple are in the business to make money. If the prices don't appeal, then don't buy. There are plenty of people out there who will. Apple have created and "plugged" a product so widely and successfully that they won't go short of customers.