iPhone 4S breaks early order record
Phone's availability through 3 carriers — Sprint Nextel, AT&T and Verizon Wireless — is expected to boost sales.
Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 02:52 PM
IT'S FOR YOU: A journalist holds two new iPhone 4S of Apple in his hands at a presentation of the new model in London. The iPhone 4S comes with a much faster processor than the previous models. (Photo: Christoph Dernbach/ZUMA Press)
More than 1 million people placed early orders on Oct. 7 for Apple's latest iPhone, the last product debuted by the company before the death of co-founder Steve Jobs.
Orders for the iPhone 4S, which will appear on store shelves on Oct. 14, surpassed Apple's previous one-day record of 600,000 sales for the iPhone 4, pushing the company's shares up 4.3 percent to $385.50 on the Nasdaq stock market.
The new phone disappointed some fans when Apple introduced it last week, but it is proving to be a bigger draw because more telephone companies are carrying it and it will appear in more countries, analysts said.
Another big factor may be Jobs. Massive outpourings of grief and sympathy over his death on Oct. 5 at the age of 56, along with testaments to his genius and status as a visionary business leader in the media and by Apple products users online may have spurred sales.
"Many potential Apple customers, who have been on the fences before, will probably now want to (buy) it," said Steven Osinski, marketing professor at San Diego State University. "It's no different than when John Lennon was assassinated, sales of Beatles records shot up for a little while."
The iPhone 4S, which many Apple watchers saw as a minor follow-up to its previous model and featuring only incremental hardware upgrades, is going on sale in seven countries. The previous version was introduced in five.
Stores in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. will start selling the device on Friday. It will be available in 22 countries by the end of October, Apple said.
"It had everything people wanted. The market was disappointed, but the customers looked past the headline to see the content of the device itself," said Hudson Square analyst Daniel Ernst.
The 4S is on the Sprint Nextel network, which is joining AT&T and Verizon Wireless as an iPhone seller for the first time. In Japan, Apple added KDDI as a distributor.
"Part of what's going to make this roll-out so much bigger is that the availability of the product is going to be much better," said Michael Yoshikami, CEO of YCMNET Advisors, which owns Apple shares. "You are going to see sales records set at a faster pace than people really would expect."
Analyst Colin Gillis said Apple still has a long way to go to meet Wall Street's sales expectations.
"It's not the first million. We know there's a large loyal base of users. They need to sell more than 20 million of these in this quarter to hit estimates," said Gillis. "Apple needs to break records to hit expectations."
Apple also must try to stem market share gains by phones running Google Inc's Android software. Samsung Electronics, which uses Android, is catching up with Apple in worldwide market share.
AT&T, which had exclusive U.S. rights to sell the iPhone for more than three years, took more than 200,000 orders for the 4S in the first 12 hours after it went on sale.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew in New York and Poornima Gupta in San Francisco. Editing by Derek Caney, Lisa Von Ahn and Robert MacMillan)
Copyright 2011 Reuters U.S. Online Report Business News