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).