back to article iPhone 4S pre-orders obliterate sales records

Over one million seekers of the latest shiny-shiny surrendered their credit card info to Apple on the first day of iPhone 4S pre-order availability, securing their place in line for the latest iteration of the überpopular smartphone. iPhone 4S The iPhone 4S Although the iPhone 4S may have been met with more than a bit of a …


This topic is closed for new posts.


  1. SuccessCase

    The downside of obsessive secrecy

    Is that the anticipation ratchets up expectation. Apple have announcements around every product launch to attempt to invest the product with a "special aura." I think they need to find a way to manage expectations when doing point releases. Albeit significant point releases.

    Most users, unlike the tech world, aren't judging the product at the moment of the keynote event. Indeed most just know they like their iPhone and trust Apple enough to go for the next one. It's natural the pre-orders will be higher because there has been ever growing population of iPhone users and even though a significant portion will probably switch to Android, there are sill enough of an added population over the time of the iPhone 4 release, with enough brand loyalty (not to mention buy -in to the apps ecosystem) and who will buy based on trust in the Apple brand.

    They will stop buying future products soon enough if they get burned by a bad release. Also post event, I think people have sat back a bit, looked at the package and there has been growing interest in the value of Siri, which it is fast becoming clear, has real potential to tip the balance making voice control a game changer.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Are these preorders actually from people wanting a phone, or just vendors preordering?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They're from users.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 4S is, by definition, 4G

    The Register needs to update themselves on this matter. The iPhone 4S supports HSPA+ which, like it or not, is officially recognised by the ITU as a 4G technology.

    It's not even the worse example as Apple at least didn't stick a 4G in the name, unlike HTC with their Inspire 4G or Atrix 4G which are also HSPA+ phones.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uh, not according to Apple

    From Apple's website's "Tech Specs" for the iPhone 4S:

    - UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

    - CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 1857

    I suggest you read this then:

  7. Craigo
    Thumb Down

    Not in the UK

    In the UK, HSPA+ is a 3G technology, LTE is going to be considered 4G. The Register is a UK based publication so therefore its 3G.

    Again, HTC phones are not marketed with 4G in their name in the UK. From a quick search the Inspire 4G is the same as the Desire HD with an American radio in it.

    Its the phone operators that put the 4G icons into Android, mine goes to H when on HSPA+

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not sure how that works since the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is a United Nations body and they have an appointment to define the global commnications standards.

    If they say that HSPA+ is 4G not sure how the UK and The Register may say say otherwise?

    Not flaming in an way, it's a genuine question.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4G is used to describe LTE (long term evolution). HSPA (a 3.5G technology) offers speeds within the realm of 4G.

    Well done ITU for clearing the confusion, eh?

    Your going to see lots of advertising of 4G, however they are not using pure 4G LTE technology.

  10. Craigo

    If I'm honest, I don't know either, its just the way it is.

    I can guess Ofcom (UK) or Europe decided that it would be too confusing to consumers so haven't embraced it.

    More likely though is that if HSPA+ became 4G, Ofcom's 4G auction for LTE at 800MHz would become less valuable and are thus keeping quiet.

  11. Smokey Joe

    lol and/or wut?


    That is all.

  12. LarsG


    Can't believe it has been so easy to convince so many people to buy such an inferior product compared to other phones on the market.

    Apple salesman are without doubt the best in the world!

  13. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Oh go on then, I'll bite.

    1. Beautifully crafted (yes, yes it is)

    2. Great UI design

    3. Beautiful hi-res screen

    4. Decent camera with good optics, that make good photos and video (lookin' at you HTC)

    5. Pocket-size (none of your 5in monstrosities please, if I wanted a tablet I'd have asked for it)

    6. Top-notch build quality

    7. Decent battery life (*at least* comparable to other phones with similar specs, and if you tell me your HTC, Samsung or Droid or whatever gets 6x the battery life I'll just laugh at you)

    8. High-quality apps, guaranteed to work (and work well) on my device

    9. Good customer service (YMMV but I've had great service so far)

    10. Great, truly great, media sharing capabilities, useable by The Average Joe(TM)

    11. Great accessory ecosystem

    Arguably one could also add that thanks to the built-in battery, replacement batteries are cheap as chips too - although they do come in the form of an external battery pack. Potato, PoTAHto - this one

    could fall in either the Debit or the Credit column depending on your point of view.




    And in the debit column?

    1. Reception, allegedly (personally never had a problem but is generally accepted as an issue)

    2. Semi-Walled Garden*

    3. No Flash

    4. No replaceable battery (although see above, this is a plus for some i.e. me)

    * 'Semi'-walled because although you can only buy apps from Apple, you CAN use/play/install media from other places. MP3 for example, and Mobi ebooks. And PDF. And HTML5. Exactly like you can on Android.

    Oh and will SOMEBODY please explain to me what makes Apple's walled orchard any more constraining than WinPho, or even Android for that matter? You can play MP3s, read downloaded ebooks, watch practically any video format you like with a free app, etc etc. Android apps ALSO won't run on any other device than Android, WinPho apps run on anything other than WinPho, and WTF is nobody beating up on Microsoft for WMA/WMV any more?

    Oh and finally I side with Apple in saying that Flash is a hopeless, steaming, bug ridden pile of crap and should be replaced forthwith with something a bit more 21st-century.

    I've had (amongst many others) a Nokia N95 8GB, an HTC HD7, and a BB Storm. All of these, arguably, exceeded the iPhone's capabilities on paper. But none were anywhere near as usable on a daily basis. My N95, for example, theoretically had media sharing capabilities. I think I got it going once, before it keeled over and refused to connect any more. Allegedly it could also upload photos to Flickr but that never stayed working long enough to be anything other than tech willy waving.

    My technophobe wife streams music and videos daily from her iPhone to the AppleTV, has set up her own AirPort connection upstairs for more music, uses her iPhone to post more stuff on Facebook than is wise or healthy, spends silly amounts of money buying stuff from iTMS, and is very proud of her iTunes music library. And that, my friends, is why Apple is a success.

    So. Rant over. Let the flames begin.

  14. MooseNC

    Blinded by the light...

    You missed a few;

    1. Beautifully crafted (yes, yes it is)

    - - - Yes, it is an interesting design, but I think most people (That don't suffer from ADOS Attention Deficit Oooh, Shiny!!) would rather have a phone that didn't shatter into a million pieces. I wonder where Dell or HP would be now if they designed a laptop with a shell made totally out of glass and metal...

    2. Great UI design

    - - - Very simple to use, but don't try to change it to what You may like...

    3. Beautiful hi-res screen

    - - - So do many other phones.

    4. Decent camera with good optics, that make good photos and video (lookin' at you HTC)

    - - - Comparing tech today to three years ago doesn't work. More on this with "your" point 6.

    5. Pocket-size (none of your 5in monstrosities please, if I wanted a tablet I'd have asked for it)

    - - - Again, most people use holsters for their phones, they want to take care of them, and make sure they have them for more than a year. But the Apple people? They don't care about the phone, they will buy a new one in a year when it gets a new swirly design on the third page of the setting menu.

    6. Top-notch build quality

    - - - Foxconn??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!??? The quality of their product is worse than something I could scavenge out of a few dumpsters...In Hoboken.

    7. Decent battery life (*at least* comparable to other phones with similar specs, and if you tell me your HTC, Samsung or Droid or whatever gets 6x the battery life I'll just laugh at you)

    - - - Again with that word "decent"... Decent for the first few months, and then it rockets downhill. Oh, and that smell coming from the phone? That's the battery leaking...

    8. High-quality apps, guaranteed to work (and work well) on my device

    - - - You got me here. When I push the "fart" button on my app, I want it to fart RIGHT NOW!!! Not .5ms later!!! And I love that you can suntan and get rid of pimples with the iphone apps.

    9. Good customer service (YMMV but I've had great service so far)

    - - - Just make sure you keep the phone in a hermetically sealed bag / container at all times. If you ever have to send it in and they smell ANYTHING on it they don't like, they won't work on it. Also, they charge roughly 2500% higher for the parts than what they paid for them.

    10. Great, truly great, media sharing capabilities, useable by The Average Joe(TM)

    - - - Most have this, and they are easy to use. Sadly, most don't come with a fluffy kitten or a couscous icon. And I have YET to see an Average Joe with an iPhone. Most people I see with iPhones are the pretentious, privileged type.

    11. Great accessory ecosystem

    - - - As long as you give Apple your 50%....

  15. IT Builders LLC

    "Apple salesman are without doubt the best in the world!"

    Except that nasty little detail about brand loyalty. 89% of iPhone users say their next phone will be another iPhone, compared to <40% for other handset manufacturers:

    Advertising and evangelism affect initial sales. Repeat buyers are more influenced by quality, user experience, customer service, and overall value.

  16. Haku Silver badge

    4. Decent camera

    They've stuck to using a camera with a rolling shutter, people who care about their footage will go for a camera that has a global shutter, which usually means the more expensive CCD route.

    Rolling shutter cameras produce footage that is often horrible to look at whenever there's fast motion, sadly the cheap price of producing rolling shutter full HD CMOS camera modules means that this kind of footage has bled over into the tv and film world.

    Global (CCD) vs rolling (CMOS) shutter:

    Unfortunately nobody really cares about getting optimal camera footage quality.

  17. big_D Silver badge

    Sorry, but...

    1. Beautifully crafted (yes, yes it is)

    Meh, I prefer the design of the htc sitting next ot my iPhone. The metal and rubber back is a lot more practical as well.

    2. Great UI design

    Outdated and looking it. I much prefer Windows Phone 7's live tiles and, to a lesser extent, the widgets on Androids home screens. More information at a glance, when you need it. iOS is showing its age.

    WP7 has the chance to be a great platform, but it stil has some teething problems, but it is still better than iOS IMHO.

    3. Beautiful hi-res screen

    So have my htc phones...

    4. Decent camera with good optics, that make good photos and video (lookin' at you HTC)

    The camera on the Sensation is ok. But that said, regardless of whether I carry the iPhone or the Sensation, I still carry an Ixsus or an EOS for taking pictures...

    5. Pocket-size (none of your 5in monstrosities please, if I wanted a tablet I'd have asked for it)

    The Sensation is fine, fits into my shirt pocket without problems, feels good in the hand.

    6. Top-notch build quality

    Hahahahaaha! We've had 12 replacement iBones for 3 users in the past 12 months! 2 iP4s were delivered with defective batteries (only usable when plugged into the power adapter), Another 2 had defective WI-Fi and BT (30cm BT range, 2M Wi-Fi). We've also had defective speaker shielding problems, batteries dying after 3 - 6 months, graphics chip problems (white display).

    Couple that with the repair policy here (Germany), where they take the iPhone away and return it 2 weeks later (in one case, the same phone was sent away for a total of 6 weeks in a 7 week period, before they finally gave up and replaced it!). htc on the other hand deliver a replacement handset when they collect the old one.

    7. Decent battery life (*at least* comparable to other phones with similar specs, and if you tell me your HTC, Samsung or Droid or whatever gets 6x the battery life I'll just laugh at you)

    With a Mofie, maybe... The battery on my iPhone lasts about as long as the Sensation or Mozart with similar use. The advantage of the htcs, I can carry around a spare battery in my pocket, in case it runs out during a trip.

    8. High-quality apps, guaranteed to work (and work well) on my device

    Same for WP7 and Android. I have the same apps (with the exception of the lack of an Audible app on WP7) on all my phones and they all work - although since iOS 4.3, iTunes has a tendancy to corrupt my Audible collection on a regular basis, one of the reasons I got the Sensation.

    9. Good customer service (YMMV but I've had great service so far)

    See 6 above, Apple's support here is dreadful, unless you want to take out an extra 50€ "protection" plan, then the service rivals htc's standard service.

    10. Great, truly great, media sharing capabilities, useable by The Average Joe(TM)

    I have wireless sync between my desktop and my Sensation of podcasts (I don't have any music on any of my phones). I will give Apple a plus point here, it does (sometimes) remember where you stopped listening to a podcast on the iMac and carries on where it left off on the iPhone, but it has become less reliable with each update.

    11. Great accessory ecosystem

    I have desktop docking stations for the Sensation and the iPhone... But the Sensation's docking station also has a tray for recharging a 2nd battery. I also have a nice Bugatti leather case for the Sensation, my Hi-Fi has USB and Audio in for playing back media from any of the phones...

    I bought my iPhone 3GS, because it was the best at the time. With each new release it has become slower and less reliable, even the hand-me-down iPhone 4 (the owner switched to a Samsung Galaxy SII) failed to impress and the Mozart I got through work was much better. For my private contract, I now use the Sensation, the iPhones sit in a corner.

    Apple have lost their lead and the 4S refresh seems very much "me too" in terms of hardware features, as opposed to being a clear market leader. The iPhone 4S isn't bad, but the rest of the market has caught up, and in many places, it has overtaken the iPhone.

  18. Adam T


    "most people use holsters for their phones"

    Hold up, is your research limited to a select group of IT nerds who dream of being cowboys?

    I don't know a single person with a phone holster. I call your bluff, sir.

    The rest of your counter-argument was fair enough. In short, all smartphones are equal in value, in as much as we can all now choose the one that has the features we want.

    Of course you do have iPhone to thank for that :)

  19. Roger 11


    She's cheating on you.

  20. davemcwish
    Paris Hilton

    Re: HaHaHaHa

    Quite easily LarsG. Given the extensive coverage the general media (e.g. BBC, Guardian et al. & not El Reg) gives to Apple product announcements, all the sates staff have to do is get the punters to decide on the spec and colour. A job so easy, even Paris could do it.

  21. Daniel Barnes

    1- Yes, it is good to look at, I'd have preferred a metal back like the original iPhone but that's down to personal preference.

    2- It is a great UI, but if you want to change it, you can. There are plenty of shell replacements.

    3- I'll agree with you on that one, it does have a lovely screen.

    4- Can't comment on that as I've only got the galaxy to compare the cameras on (iPhone wins in comparison though)

    5- If "most people" use a holster for their phone why is it when I walk down the street I don't see any holsters? According to you over half of people should be wearing a holster.

    6- I've had 2 iphones and both have had brilliant build quality. think of foxconn like a baked bean company, they make beans for loads of different brands and at different qualities, so comparing your smart price beans to heinz and arguing they are both the same is pointless.

    7- I've never had a problem with the battery in either of my iphones.

    8- You're just being silly now, we both know the app store isn't just fart apps and other stupid things. everything in the app store is tested to make sure it works and doesn't contain anything malicious, unlike the android store where malicious code has made it through into the wild.

    9- I've never had anything go wrong with either of my iphones but when the dvd drive died in my macbook pro it was back with me in 3 days with a new one fitted. I

    10- I'm certainly not "the pretentious or privileged" type, I'm a floor layer.

    11- What companies licensing terms are is nothing to do with me, or how good the iphone is.

    The way apple have got everything set up is great for "most people" it's easy to use and 'just works' . If you want to play outside of the walled-garden you can jailbreak it and do what you will.

    I'm no android hater, infact I quite like it, I've had a couple of android handsets and they were both good, but I prefer iOS.

  22. Andrew 59
    Thumb Up

    Re: user experience

    I'm posting this from my iPod touch. This device is the only reason I got an iPhone. I plan to upgrade to whatever iPhone is out when my contract runs out next year.

    And to whoever's bleating about battery life: my 18-month old iPhone still runs for 2-3 days on a full charge... Just like when it was new.

    YMMV, as they say, but that's my experience.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    if you can't believe it might be because of the blinding rage you show in your posts.

    /where is the ignore user button when you need it?

  24. RichyS


    Holsters? Fecking holsters? You rednecks are hilarious. If you'd bothered getting a passport and travelling outside of the deep south, you might notice that almost no-one outside of the good ole US of A wears their phone on a holster. They'd realise they look like a dick.

    This, I suppose, explains why these ridiculous gigantaphones are largely (no pun intended) a US phenomenon.

    Holsters. Christ almighty.

  25. big_D Silver badge

    No holsters

    I've not seen any holster either, but there again, I live in Germany, not Texas. ;-)

    I have a leather case for my phone, but that is one that fits in a pocket or I can toss in a bag.

  26. Mick Sheppard

    10. Great, truly great, media sharing capabilities, useable by The Average Joe(TM)

    - - - Most have this, and they are easy to use. Sadly, most don't come with a fluffy kitten or a couscous icon. And I have YET to see an Average Joe with an iPhone. Most people I see with iPhones are the pretentious, privileged type

    Now who's being pretentious?

    On technical sites the pretentious ones are those that won't buy anything from Apple styling those that do as being mere fanbois who have no ability to make rational decisions and are instead under the sway of the legendary RDF.

    There is no doubt that you can buy cheaper Android phones with a similar feature set. If that's what you want to do go for it. You've made a rational decision based on your criteria. However accept that other people have different criteria and may make a different decision.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re decent camera...

    You're right that a global shutter would produce (even) better footage. But this is a phone, and when considered as such it makes decent quality photos and videos. It shouldn't be compared against dedicated high-quality camcorders. I think the point is that the iPhone is actually, once you get through all the anti-Apple vitriol, a very decent phone and has earned it's place on merit rather than hype.

    Also Apple needed to make tradeoffs; to include a CCD camera with global shutter would have pushed the price up, would make the phone thicker, and would possibly have caused unacceptable vertical smearing when people photograph into a light source.

  28. Armando 123


    "most people use holsters for their phones,"

    Dude, I spent a week in Texas this last summer, and no one IN HOUSTON used a holster. And if Texans aren't using one, ... Holster are used for holding instruments for shooting snakes and lawyers, if you'll pardon the redundancy.

    The only holster users I've known are those hardcore IT types who drone on and on and on about how some piece of hardware is completely superior because of one little spec, ignoring things like build quality, usability, living with it day to day, etc. They're the geek equivalent of Oakland Raider fans.

  29. Dana W

    I wear a Holster, it has my Glock in it.

    I put my phone in my POCKET like everyone else.

  30. Darren Barratt

    "4. No replaceable battery (although see above, this is a plus for some i.e. me)"

    How can the lack of repaceable battery ever be a plus? You might as well wish to lose a foot because of the excellent selection of walking sticks out there.

  31. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Because it means a nice looking, streamlined bit of design and solid build quality. Which would be spoiled by a battery flap.

  32. Wibble

    What do Microsoft & Nokia think?

    One would expect that Microsoft and Nokia dream of selling this number of phones in total, not just in one day!

    Maybe in a couple or three years they'll catch up. Or maybe not.

  33. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    Nokia's daily sales

    Perhaps now they might dream of that, but a few years ago Nokia was selling far more than that every day, day in day out, all year round. They sold 440 Million phones in 2007.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: What do Microsoft & Nokia think?

    MS probably think "We'd better get our asses into gear because nearly everything we make is like a pile of steaming donkey poo".

  35. Jim Morrow

    re What do Microsoft & Nokia think?

    simple. we're fucked. well and truly fucked.

  36. IT Builders LLC

    Nokia *still* outsells Apple 5-to-1 in mobile phones:

    Smartphones, not so much. And Nokia has dozens of models, compared to Apple's 4-5 models. That results in higher development, manufacturing, distribution, and advertising costs and less profit per phone.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, IPhones get one refresh per year where as those choosing the android path have a large number of options in terms of what to update to. Do no real surprise about the numbers, especially with Job's flock, already letting heart generally overrule head, reacting to his departure.

    Best look at phones activations over the year than the headline "How many have signed up for Jesus phones" just after its announcement.

  38. This post has been deleted by its author

  39. IT Builders LLC
    Thumb Down

    Yet all Apple iOS devices benefit from firmware updates -- at least one major release per year and several incremental releases in between.

    When is the last time your Android device had a firmware update with new features and security patches? The core Android is evolving, but that doesn't seem to be trickling down through handset manufacturers and wireless carriers.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Each to their own

    Personally I cant see the point in chasing the new Iphone every release, have a 3gs and it does everything I want it to, sure maybe the screen is better on the 4 and the 4s supports 4g networks but ultimately in this country the data networks are at best patchy and at worst completely shit.

    I have an ipad and I like that compared to the couple of droid ones I have used.

    For work I have a desire HD which, again I like.

    If I had to choose now I would go droid, its nice and so much more for your cash

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Personally I cant see the point in chasing the new Iphone every release, have a 3gs and it does everything I want it to, sure maybe the screen is better on the 4 and the 4s"

    It's faster (if that is an issue), better battery life, significantly thinner, the screen is noticably better and the camera is a massive upgrade from the 3GS to the 4 and now again to the 4S.

    You can get cheap Android handsets but for one that is comparable - the cost is also comparable and I much prefer iOS over Android.

  42. HollyHopDrive

    nice to see....

    ....that even in a recession that there are still punters willing to shell out on very overpriced crap. Gives me hope that we may get back to a period of decent economic growth.....

    Thank god that fools and their cash are easily parted....

  43. andreas koch

    @ HollyHopDrive

    As we all well know, the Apples are no fools and don't part with their cash, no matter how much they take in; ask the shareholders. I would see them as a black hole for money.

    So now economic growth there, sorry

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah Mr Stallman...

    ... it's good to see you peddling your eccentric fantasy-world views once again.

    It's perhaps worthy of note that well managed companies, making marketable gear and executing it well prosper regardless of economic difficulties.

    Economic hard times usually sort the men from the boys.

  45. Bear Features

    oh... and this "information" is all according to Apple. Of course it is. And all the media write about it. It's al so transparent and obvious you could set your watch by it.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    AT&T alone had previously said they sold 200,000, so considering all the other mobile network across the launch countries it doesn't seem too difficult to reach a million.

  47. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    ... and there's the reason

    This is the first iPhone model to have a wide-ranging launch, covering all of the US's major carriers (iPhone 4 was AT&T only; 4S is on Verizon and Sprint too). The iPhone's core market is the USA, but over half that market was closed to it until Summer.

    So, now that 80% of the US market's customers can get an iPhone (if they want one) as opposed to 30%, it's not really a surprise that preorders are up compared to the previous launches.

    Is the pre-order number up in proportion to the enlargement of the population who can make a pre-order? Well, that's the question that would have been useful to ask (and answer) in the article...

  48. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    ... and there's the reason

    Samsung Galaxy S 2 more popular than the iPhone 4 for two months running

    Maybe crapple saw that the sales of S 2 were increasing and the iPhoney 5 wouldn't be ready in time to halt the rising S2 sales, quick rush out the iPhoney 4S so the fanbois will rush out and push the Galaxy S 2 off the top of the pile.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A whole two month?

    Wow, Shitsung did really well there.

  50. BillCo

    i can see both sides here

    I just ditched my iPhone3GS in favour of a Samsung GSII. The GSII is a superior phone by far and I'm never going back, BUT

    - the UI does not behave consistently everywhere

    - i haven't found a media player that can ID and organise my music properly yet

    - syncing to various accounts and backing up phone is a bit tricky

    - The Andriod store is missing some vital specialist apps that I am missing like crazy

    - in short it's like a 90's PC (of sorts) ...a compendium of parts and processes from various vendors that don't always play together properly

    I can deal with this stuff because i'm a developer and i love to be able to generally take proper control over the phone. For me it is worth the trade-off. But i would recommend for my Mum to go iPhone, especially since they have fixed the stupid reception problems on the 4S

    oh and i have a couple of stuck pixels on the screen... like it or not, that would not have happened on an iPhone


This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018