iPhone's price tag deters UK

A survey has claimed that 72 percent of UK consumers would not buy Apple's device at its current price

The cost of an iPhone is proving to be a sticking point for UK consumers, according to a survey.

The Apple handset's not-so-dinky £269 price tag is putting off swathes of potential buyers, according to a poll by market research company GfK NOP, which surveyed 500 people across the UK.

Almost half (46 percent) of consumers polled said they would never buy an iPhone at that price, while a further 26 percent said that, although they like the look of the phone, it's simply too expensive.

Just two percent said they are considering adding it to their Christmas list.

UK consumers willing to shell out for the hardware must sign up to an 18-month contract with O2, Apple's UK iPhone partner. In Germany, mobile operator Vodafone recently won a court injunction forcing Apple and its partner there, T-Mobile, to sell an unlocked version of the phone. In France, Apple is obliged by law to offer unlocked iPhones after six months.

The success of the UK's mobile market has been driven by subsidised handsets, said GfK NOP, which means the high retail price of the iPhone sets it apart from other offerings. Apple must therefore work much harder in the UK than it did in the US if it is to penetrate the mass market, the company said.

The cost of the handset is also a barrier for business: a recent vote by a CIO user panel found bosses view it as too expensive to roll out as a corporate mobile.

There is one bit of good news for Apple in the survey — consumer awareness of the iPhone is strong, with 75 percent of respondents saying they have heard of the device. Consumers also strongly associate the device with music and email and web surfing.

At the time of writing, Apple had not replied to a request for comment.