Apple could sell as many as four million iPhone 4S smartphones this week, following record pre-order sales
Apple is expected to sell up to four million iPhone 4S smartphones this weekend, following today’s launch, which has seen some fanboys queueing outside Apple stores for days, or even weeks.
Around a thousand people mobbed Apple’s flagship store in London’s Covent Garden today, all hoping to get their hands on a shiny new device. The iPhone 4S includes Apple’s dual-core A5 processor, a new 8 Megapixel camera, and Siri – a software program that acts as a virtual assistant.
Thousands queue up
First in line at the Covent Garden store when it opened at 8am this morning was Rob Shoesmith, a former binman from Coventry, who had queued for ten days. “I am excited about using the new phone – once I have had some sleep,” Shoesmith told the Daily Mail.
The device also went on sale at 8am local time in Australia, Japan, the US, France, Germany, and Canada.
In Munich, a queue of around 400 gathered, but the Apple Store only allowed one fan in to buy the phone at 8am (pictured). The rest had to wait till normal opening hours, according to Gizmodo. de.
Similar scenes unfolded outside Apple stores in other countries. In Los Gatos, California, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reportedly stayed overnight with Apple devotees outside his local store.
Most first-weekend sales estimates for the iPhone 4S range from 2 million to 3 million, with Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe predicting sales as high as 4 million. One million phones were pre-ordered in the first 24 hours after launch, almost doubling the previous one-day record of 600,000 for the iPhone 4.
“We are blown away with the incredible customer response to iPhone 4S,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in a statement.
iOS and iCloud
The iPhone 4S comes in either black or white and runs iOS 5, the latest edition of Apple’s mobile operating system. It also offers access to Apple’s iCloud, a set of free cloud services that work with a user’s iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac or PC to wirelessly store content in the cloud.
eWEEK found a lot to like in its first look at the new device, but we were slightly put off by what seems to be an extension of Apple’s walled-garden approach. Some were also disappointed by the lack of design improvements.
For those iPhone owners who are not willing to splash out on a new handset, Apple has made its iOS 5 available as a free software update for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, as well as the iPad, iPad 2 and the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch. However, many have complained that the update has ‘bricked’ their devices or unexpectedly deleted data.
According to BT, traffic levels were at their highest level ever seen within its UK broadband network on Wednesday night, following the launch of iOS 5 at midnight. This exceeded previous peaks seen during Wimbledon and major England football matches.