While no official numbers are available just yet of course, AT&T Mobility Prez Ralph De La Vega has just issued a preliminary 3G S assessment during an interview with CNBC. According to De La Vega, iPhone 3G S demand is exceeding AT&T’s expectations and “hundreds of thousands of customers” have pre-ordered the new Apple handset. The smartphone space is definitely heating up, what with competitive offerings like the “BlackBerry RIM” (1:17 in the video below) gaing ground every day, but it looks like Apple’s updated iPhone — however modest said update may be — will still manage to have a killer opening weekend. We certainly won’t see numbers anywhere near last year’s iPhone 3G launch but recent high profile launches such as that of the Palm Pre will apparently pale in comparison. Hit the jump for the De La Vega interview vid.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.