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iPhone sales: Did Steve Jobs's death drive record iPhone sales?

iPhone sales: Thousands are lining up outside of Apple stores in big cities around the world to get their hands on the iPhone 4S, the last iPhone unveiled during Steve Jobs's life.

By Mayumi NegishiReuters, Michelle MartinReuters / October 14, 2011

A man in a Steve Jobs mask stands in a line to buy an iPhone 4S in front of an Apple Store in Tokyo on Friday, as the phone went on sale in stores across the globe.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters


Tokyo and London

Apple Inc's new iPhone went on sale in stores across the globe on Friday, prompting thousands to queue around city blocks to snap up the final gadget unveiled during Steve Jobs' life.

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Shares of Apple rose 2 percent in early trading after queues wound down the streets of Sydney, Tokyo, London,Paris and Munich to get their hands on the iPhone 4S, despite criticism about the lack of a design revolution and reports of software glitches.

"I am a fan, a big fan. I want something to remember Steve Jobs by," said Haruko Shiraishi, waiting patiently with her Yorkshire terrier Miu Miu at the end of an eight-block queue in Tokyo's smart Ginza shopping district.

In New York, some consumers got up early to buy the phone. While the line outside Apple's flagship Manhattan store no longer extended around the block after a half-hour of sales, more people joined it as the morning progressed.

The new model looks similar to the previous iPhone 4, but has an upgraded camera, faster processor, enhanced security and voice-activated software, which lets users ask the phone questions. The voice software drew glowing reviews.

"I had been thinking of this phone for a long time," said Chad Bullar, 23, a New York University student who is buying the phone for its new messaging service and the voice software. "I was going to wait for the iPhone 5, but that seems like a year away, so I got this one."

The phone -- unveiled just a day before Jobs died -- was initially dubbed a disappointment because it looks the same as the last iPhone. But anticipation of the "Siri" voice software helped it set a record with initial online orders on October 7.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and his executive team hope the first device sold without their visionary leader at the helm will protect the company against a growing challenge from the likes of archrival Samsung Electronics.

The South Korean company, which powers its phones with Google's Android software, expects to overtake Appleas the world's biggest smartphone vendor in terms of unit sales for the third quarter.

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