When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S last Tuesday a great many people responded with “That’s all you got?” Nevertheless, sales of the new model, a moderately-updated version of the smartphone Apple introduced over a year ago, have been strong.
Its name makes it clear that Apple’s next handset is a tweaked version of the current device, the iPhone 4. It has a faster processor and a better camera, but the features that had been rumored for the “iPhone 5” aren’t included. This means there’s no support for 4G, and the touchscreen has not increased in size.
Getting Down to Brass Tacks
No matter the complaints that were posted online after the unveiling of the iPhone 4S, there have been no lack of pre-sales. A statement from AT&T says:
AT&T has seen extraordinary demand for iPhone 4S with more than 200,000 pre-orders in the first 12 hours alone, the most successful iPhone launch we’ve ever had.
In more pragmatic terms, AT&T now says that orders for this device placed today won’t ship for 21-28 days. So the carrier has run out of its supply of units that will ship on the launch day of Oct. 14, and those putting in a pre-order will have to wait for at least two weeks after the launch.
Verizon’s website says that pre-orders placed for its version of the iPhone 4S will ship by Oct. 20. This means that this carrier has also run out of units to be available on the launch date, but it is promising to have new shipments before AT&T.
Sprint is already out of pre-order stock for the least expensive version of this device, and has therefore stopped taking orders for this version, but says that those who want Apple’s newest smartphone can get it at a Sprint store on Oct. 14. It does not disclose how many units will be available at each store, and considering the strong demand that’s an important question.
Although Sprint has stopped taking pre-orders for the 16GB version that sells for $200, it is still accepting orders for the 32GB version that sells for $300, and the 64GB version that cost $400.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said this morning. “The first day pre-orders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched.”
The company bragged that over a million units were sold in the first 24 hours of pre-sales, surpassing the previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 held by iPhone 4. Of course, that model was available from a single U.S. carrier when it debuted, AT&T, while the upcoming version is being offered by three.
Still, given the sales numbers, it’s hard to argue that this model is a dud, as some had last week when it was first announced. That said, sales of the rumored iPhone 5 could have been better, if it had been real.
iPhone 4S Overview
The fifth-generation smartphone from Apple will include a 1GHz dual-core processor, up from the 1GHz single-core CPU in its predecessor. Also on the improvements list is an 8MP camera, while the current model has a 5 MP one.
The iPhone 4S will launch running iOS 5, a new version of Apple’s mobile operating system. This will include a new voice-control system called Siri, available only on the latest model, as well as the iCloud online backup service.
No matter who sells it, all versions of this smartphone sell for the same price. Apple does not allow wireless carriers to reduce the price of its product in order to undercut each other.