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Pre-sales of ‘disappointing’ iPhone 4S fail to disappoint

Despite assorted cries of disappointment following Apple’s iPhone 4S unveiling last Tuesday, pre-sales of the company’s latest smartphone have seemingly been nothing short of stellar. But this is hardly a surprise. AT&T sold more than 200,000 iPhone 4S handsets during the first 12 hours of pre-order availability, making this the carrier’s most successful iPhone launch to date according to a company spokesperson. No other carriers have revealed pre-order figures thus far, but Apple took in a total of 600,000 iPhone 4 pre-orders across all carriers and distribution channels last year on the first day of pre-sales availability. That figure was a record for Apple at the time. Read on for more.

As of Friday evening, less than one day after the iPhone 4S became available for pre-order, delivery estimates from Apple’s online store slipped from October 14th to “1-2 weeks,” indicating inventory from Apple’s first round of iPhone shipments has already been depleted. Apple’s new iPhone 4S features the same glass and metal build as its predecessor, but it includes an upgraded 8-megapixel camera and a dual-core A5 processor as well as Apple’s new voice-driven personal assistant software, Siri.

Despite preliminary complaints from an apparent minority, analysts still have high expectations for Apple’s latest smartphone and the iPhones 3GS and 4, which both saw price drops as Apple’s new iPhone model was unveiled. Wedge Partners’ Brian Blair, who modeled for an incremental iPhone refresh amid rumors of a redesigned iPhone 5, estimates that Apple shipped between 24 million and 25 million iPhones in the September quarter. The analyst sees that figure growing to 27 million units in Apple’s December quarter.

Apple announced earlier this year that it sold 20.34 million iPhones into sales channels in the June quarter, making it the world’s No. 1 smartphone vendor by volume in the second calendar quarter this year.

Zach Epstein

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.

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