Apple’s iPhone 4S Breaks Pre-Order Record

October 10, 2011 Updated: October 11, 2011
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the event introducing the new iPhone 4S at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Oct. 4. Apple announced Monday that iPhone 4S pre-orders topped 1 million within the first 24 hours. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Apple said that the first day of pre-orders for the soon to be released iPhone 4S surpassed 1 million, breaking an erstwhile record of 600,000 held by the phone’s predecessor, the iPhone 4.

“We are blown away with the incredible customer response to iPhone 4S," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The first day pre-orders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched.”

The record numbers provide a sharp contrast to the media and analysts saying, following its unveiling, that the phone would not live up to its predecessor.

Last week, pundits called the iPhone 4S a mistake that would underwhelm consumers used to Apple’s quality products.

PC World said the phone boasts “impressive upgrades” but falls short of the mark as it has no new design and no 4G network capabilities. C.K. Lu, an analyst at the Gartner research firm, told Reuters last week, “Apple no longer has a leading edge.”

There were multiple rumors over the summer that Apple would release several new phones, including the iPhone 5, which would have a number of improvements, including an edge-to-edge display and other features.

On Tuesday, when the company announced the iPhone 4S, it was viewed as a bit of a letdown because of the perceived lack of features and because it looks exactly the same as the previous model in terms of form. On the same day, the company’s stock also slumped 5 percent attributed to the negative buzz.

But that was before its co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs died last week. With his passing, the already-popular company is now displayed in front of consumers even more.

The elevated number of pre-orders may also be impacted by Apple’s inclusion of wireless carriers Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp in the United States. The first iPhone 4 was sold only for AT&T’s network initially, to the chagrin of many consumers who derided its lack of reception in some areas.

The iPhone 4S, which goes on sale this Friday, does actually feature marked improvements in many areas. It includes the new iOS 5 operating system, a 2x faster processor, a higher resolution camera, a redesigned antenna, longer battery life, universal carrier support, and a new program called Siri—a voice assistant.

By the end of the day Monday, Apple’s stock had risen 5.1 percent to $388.81 per share.