updated 09:00 pm EDT, Fri October 7, 2011
ATT gets best ever iPhone pre-order launch
(Updated with Sprint shortage) AT&T late Friday said it had so far had its best iPhone launch ever after starting iPhone 4S preorders. The company had collected over 200,000 preorders just in the first 12 hours after opening up at midnight Pacific. It tried to credit the rush to its network, pointing out the "twice as fast" 14.4Mbps data and the inherent nature of the network letting calling and data co-exist at the same time.
Sprint and Verizon have yet to weigh in on their own results so far. As of Friday night, Apple still expected US preorders to ship in time for the October 14 launch day. International sales have hit delays, although these are primarily for unlocked models and might have been hampered by being rarer models.
Many have been waiting on sales figures more than usual for the iPhone 4S. An initially tepid reaction from analysts and certain fans led some to worry that Apple had delivered too modest an upgrade. Longer-term preorders and launch day lineups will still be important, but record preorders could hint that Apple stands to increase its sales.
Apple and AT&T are being helped by pent-up demand after iOS 5 and iCloud development delayed the iPhone 4S past the usual summer release schedule.
Update: Sprint's iPhone page lists the 16GB iPhone 4S as out of stock for preorders.