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from the L.A. Times

Apple iPhone 4S: More than 4 million sold on launch weekend

Apple's iPhone 4S topped 4 million units sold worldwide over its launch weekend
Apple's iPhone 4S topped 4 million units sold worldwide over its launch weekend.

That staggering sales figure is the highest of any iPhone to date after that initial three-day period, said Apple Inc., which announced the numbers Monday morning in a statement on its website.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant also said more than 25 million people have downloaded iOS 5 to their iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches in the five days since its release.

In addition, the company said, more than 20 million people have signed up for iCloud, Apple's free service that syncs data such as calendars, contacts and photos wirelessly across a user's computer and portable Apple gadgets. It also launched just five days ago.

The iPhone 4S' sales figure is "the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days," Philip Schiller, Appleā€™s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said in the company announcement. "iPhone 4S is a hit with customers around the world, and together with iOS 5 and iCloud, is the best iPhone ever."

The previous-generation iPhone 4, launched in June 2010, is Apple's best-selling product; more of the devices have been sold than all earlier versions of the iPhone combined.

On the first day of in-store iPhone 4S sales, Sprint said the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S resulted in its best sales day for any product line it has ever carried. A few analysts weighed in on Friday, projecting that by Sunday night 2 million to 4 million of the new iPhones would have be sold.

More than 1 million iPhone 4S handsets were pre-ordered in the first 24 hours the early orders began, about a week before the device's in-store launch.

The iPhone 4S failed to wow many analysts and pundits when it was revealed on Oct. 4, a day before Apple co-founder and tech icon Steve Jobs died, but it seems that consumers are flocking to the device.

From the outside, the iPhone 4S, which sells for about $200 to as much as $600, looks nearly identical to the iPhone 4, but it features upgraded hardware with a dual-core A5 chip (similar to that found in the iPad 2), a new 8-megapixel camera that can shoot up to 1080p high-definition video.

The software with iOS 5 is also new, adding more than 200 features, most notably (and only available on the iPhone 4S so far) Siri, Apple's voice-activated "intelligent assistant" app that can help dictate text, schedule appointments, check the weather and find locations, all done by a user talking into the phone and telling the app what he or she is looking for.

So far, the iPhone 4S is on sale in the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and Britain. Apple said it will be available in 22 more countries on Oct. 28, and more than 70 countries by the end of the year. In the U.S., the iPhone 4 and 4S are being sold by AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Twitter.com/nateog

Image: Apple's iPhone 4S displaying iOS 5's new notification center, iMessage and Twitter integration. Credit: Apple Inc.

 
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