In only 24 hours, a million people signed up to buy Apple's latest iPhone.
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Apple reportedly plans to celebrate the life of company co-founder Steve Jobs on Wednesday, October 19, but it already has a more mundane reminder of its departed leader's vision: Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S exceeded one million in the first 24 hours that the device was offered.
Apple SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said in a statement that the company was blown away by the response to the latest iPhone model.
"The first day pre-orders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched and we are thrilled that customers love iPhone 4S as much as we do," he said.
Apple introduced the iPhone 4S at a media event last Tuesday, in addition to discussing its forthcoming iOS 5 software and iCloud service. The following day, the company announced that Steve Jobs had died. Jobs, in declining health after a seven-year battle with pancreatic cancer, resigned as CEO in August and proposed Tim Cook as his successor.
The iPhone 4S was seen by some observers as a disappointment. Mostly, it was lack of a new form factor that made the iPhone 4S seem insufficiently revolutionary.
The sense of a letdown may also have been magnified by the media's guilt about its role in uncritically re-reporting so many iPhone rumors. Many media outlets, starved of legitimate information by Apple's extreme secrecy, took the rumors and speculation at face value and expected to see a device referred to as iPhone 5.
Such objections seemed particularly ungrateful once news of Jobs's passing became known, and focus turned immediately to Jobs's accomplishments. But even in the brief period between the product announcement and the death announcement, the iPhone 4S had plenty of defenders. Given the device's improved camera, processor, software, and network technology, blogger John Gruber asked, "What more more could you have wanted in a hypothetical 'iPhone 5' today?"
The iPhone 4S goes on sale at 8 a.m. local time on Friday, October 14, at all 245 Apple retail stores in the U.S. Lines can be expected to form well before then, if the past can be used to gauge the future.
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