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  (Source: MacRumors)

Small lines formed outside Apple and AT&T stores across the country for the iPhone 3G S launch. The phone, which features more memory and a faster processor, quickly sold out at most locations.  (Source: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Apple shoots for another sales record

With millions of iPhones already sold, Apple was hoping for another hit with the release of the iPhone 3G S.  The new phone features an improved camera (with AutoFocus), larger memory capacity, faster hardware, and a new OS.  Apple has been accepting preorders for the phone over the last couple weeks.

AT&T stores opened at 7:30 am in preparation for the launch.  Lines were relatively short and orderly even in busy locations like the AT&T Suffolk Street and Delancey Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side (according to MacRumors).  Louisville, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Montreal, Quebec were among the cities to have small lines of 100 people or less (via Twitter).  Despite the shorter lines, the phone reportedly sold out quickly.

The AT&T shops received stocks of approximately 60 units for those who did not preorder and many sold out within 20 minutes or less.  Stores will reportedly receive their next shipment 5 business days.  AT&T had already exhausted its pre-order supply a week ago.  Customers ordering over the last week will have to wait one to two weeks to have their phone delivery.

Outside the shops ringtone merchants and phone recyclers pestered many of the customers, try to get them to sell their older models for refurbishing, or to sell them ringtones or accessories.  Local TV channels even showed up to many of the events.

The phone costs $199 (16 GB) or $299 (32 GB) for new subscribers and as much as $599 (32 GB) for subscribers with under over a year left on their current contract.  Rather than risk a disastrous launch day OS update like last year (which saw Apple's servers crash from the traffic) the new OS v3.0 was released early this week, staggering the downloads from new phones and older iPhone 3G's 

The iPhone 3G S launch appears to have gone very well for Apple, and success seems certain for the powerful iPhone 3G S.  However, it features tough competition this fall from new Android handsets, the Blackberry Storm 2, the Palm Pre, and other phones such as the Nokia N97, or the Samsung Omnia Pro (Windows Mobile).

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RE: Deep down
By michael2k on 6/19/2009 12:34:43 PM , Rating: 4
You don't know that at all.

RE: Deep down
By omnicronx on 6/19/2009 12:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
Neither do you.. I know tons of people that sold their 2g for the 3g when it came out. One great thing about the iPhone is that they retain their value, a few of my friends only paid $200 for the upgrade by selling their old phone on craigslist. It is more than likely that this was also the case this time around, although the 3g was a much bigger upgrade in my mind, its no fun surfing on a 2g network (and lets face it, 7.2M HSDPA access is few and far between in north america right now)

RE: Deep down
By quiksilvr on 6/21/2009 3:00:41 PM , Rating: 1
ONLY $200? The phone price WAS $200, remember that dramatic boom sound they made when they showed the price? That means the 2G ones didn't sell for much at all. $0 in fact.

RE: Deep down
By Shadowself on 6/19/2009 3:12:00 PM , Rating: 4
Actually, anyone who has been tracking this in even the most cursory fashion does know that the majority of iPhone 3G S purchasers (at least for the near term) are not iPhone 3G owners. AT&T is not (and thus Apple is not) subsidizing the price for the vast majority of current iPhone 3G owners as much as those with contracts on the original iPhone or non AT&T customers. Bought your iPhone 3G last October? Pay $499 for that new 32 GB iPhone 3G S instead of $299 ($399 versus $199 for the 16 Gb version)!

Additionally, with the free upgrade to the 3.0 OS the iPhone 3G has most of the capabilities of the iPhone 3G S. Thus many of the trade rag web sites have reported that their informal surveys show the majority of iPhone 3G users won't be upgrading -- at least not soon anyway. Why pay $499 for something only marginally better?

RE: Deep down
By FaaR on 6/20/2009 10:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
People may pay if they feel the value matches or exceeds the asking price, and they have the money to spend of course, as with most any electronic product. The 3G S really is no different than upgrading your 3870 video card for a 4890; little in the way of added features, just more of the same and faster at a price.

Revolutionary leaps are far and few between, even in the tech industry. Most naysayers would argue even the original iphone was not much of a giant leap for mankind...

As for myself, I'll probably get a 3G S when it launches in my territory, even despite Apple vastly overcharging people on the hardware (and particulary on the 32GB model). I've had various Ericsson, Sony Ericsson and Nokias in the past, and never really liked any of them or their menus. At least iphone brings something new on that front for me.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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