10 October 2011

Apple says iPhone 4S pre-orders break record

Apple says iPhone 4S pre-orders break record: Shares jump as Apple says pre-orders for new device easily surpass previous first-day level set by best-selling iPhone 4.

Apple AAPL +3.76% first announced the iPhone 4S at a special event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters last Tuesday — one day before the death of co-founder and Chairman Steve Jobs. The company’s shares took a hit following the unveiling of the new device, which carries the same exterior design of the iPhone 4 but with a faster processor and new software capabilities. Read full story on iPhone 4S.

The company’s shares jumped 3.8% to $383.75 in morning trades on Monday. In a statement before the opening bell, Apple said pre-orders for the 4S topped the 600,000 received on the first day for the iPhone 4, which has been the company’s best-selling iPhone to date.

The iPhone 4S becomes available for shipping Oct. 14.

Part of the appeal for the new device may lie in its relatively late launch compared to previous iPhone models. Apple has typically updated the device in the summer months, but the newest model will hit stores 15 months after the iPhone 4 first went on sale.

Mossberg: iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 4

Stacey Delo talks to Walt Mossberg on The News Hub about the changes the iPhone 4S offers over its predecessor.

“Despite initial disappointments at the lack of a new hardware form factor, data suggest the iPhone 4S is capturing pent-up demand for a new iPhone and benefiting from the replacement cycle of 3GS customers from two years ago,” wrote Bill Choi of Janney Capital Markets in a note to clients on Monday morning.

Choi also speculated that “there could be modest benefit from sentiment-related purchases after the death of Steve Jobs (anecdotal store traffics are up), but we believe the iPhone 4S offers superior functionality/value and expect demand to remain strong.”

Late Friday, wireless carrier AT&T Inc. T +1.65% said that its own pre-orders for the 4S topped the 200,000 mark. The phone will also be available in the U.S. via Verizon Wireless VOD +3.54% VZ +1.21% and Sprint Nextel Corp. S -8.09% , though neither of those carriers have publicly disclosed pre-orders for the device.

As Wall Street rallied to begin the week, shares of both AT&T and Verizon Communications were up about 1.4% in early trading, while Sprint Nextel shares moved down about 3% to $2.34.

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