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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 been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.