Apple's fans have sent the iPhone 4 to record sales -- 1.7 million units in 3 days -- despite problems which marred the launch.   (Source: The Apple Collection)
Customers seem willing to forgive reception issues and that Apple might be tracking their every move

Apple's iPhone 4 launched Thursday June 24 (some pre-orderers received their phones even earlier).  As was expected by the quick sell-out of pre-ordered stock available through AT&T, demand was high for the phone.

The allure of Apple's high-resolution Retina display and video messaging service FaceTime proved enough to lure customers in, despite some high profile concerns.  Over 1.7 million iPhones were sold within the first three days -- a new record.  Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs apologized to customers who were turned away, stating, "This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history.  Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply."

The phone's launch was marred by several issues.  Screen yellowing was reported, though this appears to be an adhesive issue that would naturally disappear after use.  Much more serious concerns, however, are the reports of reception issues when holding the phone normally and problems with the proximity sensor.  Apple has dismissed the signal issues, with Jobs first saying that customers were "holding it wrong" and then helpfully announcing: "There are no reception issues."

Apple's phone does, however, offer many other compelling improvements.  It uses stronger glass that's more scratch and break-resistant.  And it increases processing power over the previous generation, by using its new A4 processor, a system-on-a-chip based on a Samsung Cortex core -- all while offering better battery life.  It also adds HD 720p video recording via a new and improved 5 MP camera, which finally includes an LED flash.

On the OS side, multi-tasking has finally landed on the iPhone.  And better enterprise support also has been added.

Stock of iPhone 4s is currently limited.  The iPhone is available for $199 USD for the 16GB model and $299 USD for the 32GB model in both Apple and AT&T’s retail and online stores, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Walmart stores.  

Internationally, the phone is currently available to customers in the UK, France, Germany, and Japan.  An international launch to 18 countries -- Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland -- will complete by the end of July.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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