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.
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"(Jobs) made everything better and the products he released were thought through in such detail," Duncan Hoarein London said, after a loud roar greeted the opening of the store. "It was about the beauty of something and the simplicity."Skip to next paragraph
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Apple does not release sales on launch day, so gauging initial figures is difficult. However, it took more than 1 million online orders in the first 24 hours after its release, exceeding the 600,000 for the iPhone 4, which was sold in fewer countries initially.
"Despite the initial disappointment that this wasn't an iPhone 5, the reality is we're still seeing the usual frenzy that we've got used to on launch day," analyst Ben Wood at CCS Insight told Reuters. Analysts expect global sales of a few million phones on the first weekend, he added.
Unlike many in Tokyo, shoppers in European cities told Reuters they wanted the phone because it was a "lifestyle choice" and not necessarily a tribute to Jobs.
Despite the enthusiasm at Apple stores, the launch was marred somewhat by widespread complaints this week on the Internet about problems downloading iOS 5, the latest version of Apple's mobile software.
There were also problems with iCloud, Apple's online communications, media storage and backup service formally launched on Wednesday, with users reporting glitches such as losing their email access.
Queues in Paris were smaller than those normally seen for a brand-new iPhone, with some fans there wondering if the somewhat underwhelming introduction had put people off, but in London and elsewhere the lines were as long as ever.
On Regent Street in central London, the queue wound down a side street and into a park, where Starbucks had a mobile stand to serve coffee. Of the 40 people to whom Reuters spoke in London, 13 were switching from other phones.
"This is rubbish," one buyer at a north London store said, holding his Blackberry after owner Research in Motion struggled for days to fix an international outage of its email and messaging services.
Jobs shadow over iPhone launch
The vast majority of the iPhone 4S buyers who Reuters interviewed in Sydney, France and Frankfurt were existing Apple customers, many having bought the original iPhone and subsequent upgrades.
"Since Jobs died, I wanted to make sure I had a new iPhone with some advantages over the old," said iPhonedevotee Mark Du, who expressed concern about future gadgets without Jobs in charge.