Apple: One million iPhone 4S preorders in 24 hours

Apple on Monday announced that customers placed more than one million preorders for the new iPhone 4S on the first day of availability, topping Apple’s previous record—600,000 iPhone 4 preorders on that device’s first day. Apple (and its three U.S. carriers for the iPhone) began accepting preorders last Friday.

In its press release, Apple’s Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said that this was “the most [preorders] for any new product that Apple has ever launched.” That tremendous preorder volume is all the more impressive when you recall that the initial preorder process was not snag-free.

While the staggering demand may at least be in part because of the long interim since the company last released a new handset—the iPhone 4 was released in June 2010—it also flies in the face of many tech pundits and analysts, who decried the 4S as a “letdown” or a “disappointing” update.

Apple confirmed that the iPhone 4S will become available at all 245 U.S. Apple retail stores beginning at 8 a.m. (local time) on Friday, October 14. On the same day, the device will also launch abroad in the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, and Japan. At the device’s introduction earlier this month, Apple said 22 more countries would be added on October 28, with that number increasing to more than 70 by the end of the year; according to Apple’s Schiller, that makes it the fastest rollout the company has ever had for an iPhone.

The iPhone 4S is available in black and white, in three capacities: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. For the first time, customers have the choice of three major U.S. carriers at launch: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. An unlocked iPhone 4S will go on sale this November.

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