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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: O2 UK is reporting stronger sales
By Shadowself on 6/19/2009 3:02:06 PM , Rating: 2
I too find any statement that Apple/AT&T will have sold more iPhone 3G S variants (not including the now $99 3G) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (including pre orders) than they did on the iPhone 3G first Friday, Saturday and Sunday as EXTREMELY suspect. The only way I'd believe that statement is if Apple explicitly states this in their SEC legal filings.

By Doormat on 6/19/2009 5:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't say extremely suspect.

Its just surprising based on the survey data put out so far (there seems to be less enthusiasm this time around). ATT said they've shipped phones in the "hundreds of thousands", and the analyst prediction is 500,000 units this weekend worldwide.

I think the short lead time and pre-ordering may have taken some of the wind out of their sails. When you spend weeks waiting for the release of something (think of the Southpark episode with Cartman and the Wii), you get amped up. Apple only left 11 days lead time between the announcement and the release of the phone. Then you could pre-order the phone and sit back and relax. No 9 hour waits lined up like I did for the first iPhone back in 2007. I even went about 4 weeks after the 3G release to upgrade and I still waited in line for 4 hours on a Sunday morning.

It certainly mutes the enthusiasm, but what they've done is lower the bar to get the phone quickly. You don't have to take a day off work and spend all night before lined up to get the phone on the first day. Assuming adequate supply, they can compress what might have been 2-3 weeks worth of sales into the first week because you have to line up for hours for one.

So it might be surprising until you realize the numerous avenues Apple and AT&T have to get the phone to customers.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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