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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: ?
By michael2k on 6/19/2009 12:52:20 PM , Rating: 2
There are only 30m iPhones total, worldwide, and the US alone has 300m people.

We aren't even close to iPhone saturation. Many of the people I know ordering the 3GS are new to the iPhone. Most with the 3G are waiting for their contracts to expire.

RE: ?
By omnicronx on 6/19/2009 1:17:26 PM , Rating: 1
We aren't even close to iPhone saturation. Many of the people I know ordering the 3GS are new to the iPhone. Most with the 3G are waiting for their contracts to expire.
How could you possibly know what the saturation point is? You are basing this on absolutely nothing.

Furthermore the chances are most people with 3g contract are not expiring as it was only released last year with a 2 year minimum, otherwise they paid full price. Its not even likely that a lot of 2g contracts are over, as the vast majority of users went on 3 year contracts to get the cheapest price.

I'm working in downtown Toronto today and I had to go past a Rogers store (they are the iPhone provider in Canada) and there was a lineup out the door. Just walking by I noticed that no less than 3 people had their iPhone 3g IN THEIR HANDS! Whats even more ridiculous was the pricing on the door, 699/799 when bought without a contract! So please do not tell me that people are not upgrading their phone, because they are!

RE: ?
By michael2k on 6/20/2009 10:48:10 AM , Rating: 2
Uh, the only clue to smartphone and iPhone saturation is the smartphone market growth rate.

iPod growth leveled off as we approached saturation. The same will happen with iPhones and smartphones. So far growth has not leveled off.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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