4m sales in 3 days make 4S fastest selling phone ever

25 million customers now using iOS5 as 4S double 4's 3 day total

Apple sold over four million iPhone 4S in the three days after it hit the market, more than double that of the iPhone 4 in the same period, making it the fastest-selling phone ever.

Over one million people pre-ordered the phone in the 24 hours after it was announced.

More than 25 million customers have also downloaded the new iOS 5 operating system for their Apple handset.

"iPhone 4S is off to a great start with more than four million sold in its first weekend - the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days," said senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller.

"iPhone 4S is a hit with customers around the world, and together with iOS 5 and iCloud, is the best iPhone ever.

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Latest comments (14)

Brian Hannah Studying Bsc Hons Computer Games Software Development, Glasgow Caledonian University6 years ago
Apple has more wealth than the GDP of most countries. I keep hearing in the media that the world Economies in dire straits yet people can still purchase very expensive Iphones.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee6 years ago
@Brian, I'm pretty sure Samsung are worth something like 6x the GDP of their neighbouring country. These corporations are insanely rich!

Talking about the article, well, good on Apple, though it does worry me how people are so willing to rush out to get a product because of the hype. Not saying everyone is in that boat as it is still one of the most advanced phones on the market, but they didn't rush out for the Motorola Atrix, Galaxy S II, LG Optimus 2x or HTC Sensation like this...
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Daniel Vardy Studying HND IT, De Montfort University6 years ago
Progress: Smart people using dumb phones to dumb people using smartphones.
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Show all comments (14)
Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game6 years ago
If the 3G and the iOS4 update are anything to go by, anyone who bought a 3GS in the last half year and upgrades to iOS5 is going to really hate Apple soon.
Guess who got a 3G just a few months before iOS4 crippled them.
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Tommy Thompson Studying Artificial Intelligence (PhD), University of Strathclyde6 years ago
It's an impressive statistic. I'm just at a loss as to what the real benefits are of the device - speaking as both an iPhone owner and iOS developer. Andrew makes a good point, expect compliance with only 4th & 5th gen devices within the next 12-18 months.
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Jason Killingsworth Features ed, Edge, Future Publishing6 years ago
Obsolescence is an inevitable byproduct of technological progress. The concept was hardly Designed in Cupertino.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game6 years ago
My problem wasn't that iOS4 didn't work well on the 3G I'd bought new 3 months earlier on a 2 year contract, it's that Apple didn't offer a way to revert back when it was clear there were problems, instead taking several months to release patches to make it usable, even then it freezes a lot and drinks battery faster.

Obsolesence is always going to happen, but when iOS 4 came out Apple were still selling the 3G new and priced at £350. Just as you can still buy a 3GS now. Making a product you are still selling obsolete is not exactly playing nice.
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Ricky Hodgson Studying BA (Hons) Computer Games and Visual Effects, Anglia Ruskin University6 years ago
To Sharkhan and Brian, 4 million handsets is hardly a *huge* statistic if you think about the worldwide mobile phone base if you want to think about it globally.

Comments calling into question these sales figures and linking the current state of the economy make no sense to me.

What the article is saying is Apple sold a record amount of phones compared to their last phone. Nothing else.

The world enonomy is still crippled, Apple have nothing to do with this.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters6 years ago
"Apple needs to be less greedy". At which point is a company supposed to say "Whoa! Sorry everyone, looks like we've been a bit too successful, I guess we should have a rest for a few years"? Don't get me wrong, I can't stand Apple products and I think they're becoming a dangerous monopoly that's destroying all competition, but who would do any different in their position? What I find the most annoying is their legions of fans that try to tear your throat out whenever you say anything negative about Apple as if you've blasphemed against their religion.
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I think people look at a lot of these statistics in the wrong way. Assuming that everybody who bought an iPhone 4 last year is buying an iPhone 4S this year is just dumb. I'm sure a lot of people who are buying iPhone 4S now have probably had the same iPhone or same whatever for the last few years. Look at me. Last year I replaced my 5th generation iPod classic with a 4th generation iPod Touch. I waited 5 years. Also, when it comes to devices like cell phones, unlike television sets or desktop computers, people carry these things around with them all the time. They use them all the time. They drop them by mistake and who knows what else happens. Cell Phones don't have a long viable life because of this. Not to mention, a new group of kids turn 14 everyday and want an iPhone. So there are millions of reasons why the new iPhone is selling so well, not just because of idiot consumers who are already strapped for cash who are buying a phone they don't need.
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Andrew Wilson 3D Artist 6 years ago
How to make every product launch look better than the last : have a bit more supply ready!

Sure they could've done those numbers with the (let's face it) more revolutionary iPhone 4 if there were enough knocking about.
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Andrew Coleman Indie game developer 6 years ago
I find it ironic that members of the entertainment industry are disparaging Apple for being greedy. News flash: all successful companies are greedy, including the ones you work at. That's what the profit motive is, in essence. There's also absolutely nothing wrong with it, so get off of your high horses.

As for the issue of obsolescence, I want to reiterate the idea that it is, to some degree, an inevitability of technological progress, and a desirable one, at that. There seems to be a misconception that some people in the comments here have about it, though; they believe that obsolescence implies uselessness, which simply isn't the case. They can go hand-in-hand, sure, but I don't that would be a fair assessment in Apple's case, for example. The iPhone 4 can still be purchased, but for $99 with a two-year contract. It's obsolete compared to the 4s, yes, but it will still sell well at that price point because it's still a highly useful and desirable device. The same goes for the 3GS, which is free with a two-year contract. iOS devices only begin to lose their usefulness when Apple ceases selling them, and when a new version of iOS drops official support of the model in question.

@Sarkhan you raise an interesting point, I hadn't thought about the issue from an environmentalist perspective. You're shifting too much of the blame for the problem onto Apple, though; given that Apple strives to use components that reduce the amount of harm done by discarding electronics, and that they encourage their users to dispose of their old electronics by recycling them, you really ought to give them more credit, and you ought to recognize that recycling electronics is ultimately the responsibility of the consumer. Additionally, while it's true that every year the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch get new models, it isn't true that a majority of Apple consumers upgrade to every new model. It's much more common for people to purchase every other model, skipping every other generation, so I don't think there is quite as much waste going on as you believe there is. And finally, you really ought to divert at least some of your attention to the manufacturers that release numerous models of phones and other devices per year; don't you think that would contribute to the problem, as well?
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 6 years ago
Worrying about the environmental impact of the iPhone 4S while ignoring that of things like personal automobiles in the western world is basically re-arranging the deck chairs while the Titanic sinks. The irony is that many "environmentalists" I know own a car and drive it every day.

Also, when an iPad replaces paper newspaper and magazine subscriptions, that's in the long term a net positive to the environment, assuming the person keeps it long enough (or, on replacement, the unit is put in use again by someone else).
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Mark Beesly Business Director, Dare6 years ago
One thing not mentioned in the above thread is that Apple products are very enjoyable to use for people who are not particularly into tech (and by many who are). This user experience is (IMHO) the reason that Apple has the 'legions of fans' or 'iSheep' so derided by many in the first place and that's why they sell stuff so well. It's not just the 'hype' that persuades people to buy iPhones. Current customer recommendation is the strongest form of marketing.
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