Sprint: Apple iPhone 4S brings 'best ever day of sales' [Updated]
Sprint reportedly took a gamble in its bid to finally sell Apple's iPhone lineup after missing out on offering the first four generations of the phone.
So far, whatever Sprint put on the line to get the iPhone in its stores is paying off.
On Friday, as the iPhone 4S officially launched, Fared Adib, the carrier's product chief, said the Apple handset helped elevate the carrier's sales to a level not previously seen with the launch of any other product line. Sprint also began selling an 8-gigabyte version of the iPhone 4 for $100.
"Sprint today reported its best ever day of sales in retail, web and telesales for a device family in Sprint history with the launch of iPhone 4S and iPhone 4," Adib said in an email. "We reached this milestone at approximately noon CT/1pm ET. The response to this device by current and new customers has surpassed our expectations and validates our customers' desire for a truly unlimited data pricing plan."
Adib, however, didn't say just how many iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 handsets it has sold thus far.
AT&T, Verizon and Apple itself, as well as retailers such as Best Buy and Target, haven't yet commented on how the iPhone 4S is selling, but AT&T did post photos to its Flickr account of eager customers lining up outside its stores waiting to plunk down their cash for the new smartphone.
RadioShack said in an email that it hasn't seen a chain-wide sellout as of yet and that "iPhone 4s enthusiasts who are still looking to get their device late this afternoon or over the weekend will find them at their nearby RadioShack." The electronics retailer has about 4,300 stores nationwide, 3,000 of which are carrying the iPhone (might be a good idea to call ahead).
Analysts on Friday projected that the iPhone 4S could hit about 2 million to 4 million units sold by the end of the weekend. In August, industry analysts estimated that Sprint alone could sell about 1.2 million iPhones by the end of the year.
[Updated 6:07 p.m.: Wall Street approved of Apple's iPhone 4S launch. As noted by Times columnist Tom Petruno, Apple stock closed on Friday at new high. Apple was up $13.57, or 3.3%, to close at $422 per share. The surge pushed Apple back to no. 1 in market value, at $391-billion while Exxon comes in at no. 2 with a market cap of $380-billion.]
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: A line of people wanting to purchase the new Apple iPhone 4S wait in line for a Sprint store to open in San Francisco on Friday, the phone's launch day. Credit: Eric Risberg/Associated Press