iPhone 4S primed for a 'blockbuster launch'

iPhone 4S preorders are already through the roof, Apple says.

iPhone 4S units should hit shelves Friday. Here, a man in Tokyo waits outside an Apple store, iPad in hand.

The iPhone 4S – the next generation iPhone we thought was the iPhone 5 – was unveiled only last week, at an event in Cupertino, Calif. And according to Bloomberg News, Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T have already run through their preorder stock of the device. In a report published on Thursday, Bloomberg staffer Scott Moritz spoke to several analysts, including Roger Entner of Recon Analytics, who forecasted "another blockbuster launch."

Apple, for its part, told Moritz that it received 1 million iPhone 4S preorders on the first day, breaking all previous records. Of course, as Josh Lowensohn points out over on CNET, consumers can still technically preorder a new iPhone 4S, but the thing may not be available for at least a couple of weeks, while Apple cranks out more handsets. (Verizon, for instance, estimates it will not ship the 4S until the 28th of October – a half month away.)

The iPhone 4S, which takes the basic shape of the iPhone 4 and adds an array of improvements, including a faster A5 processor and an 8-megapixel camera, has received high marks from critics. Reviewers are particularly taken with the new iOS 5 operating system, and with Siri, a voice-operated personal assistant app available only on the iPhone 4S.

Writing in Wired, Brian X. Chen predicted that Siri could change the way we use our smartphones. "With Siri and Apple’s new Reminders to-do list app, it’s unlikely I’ll forget anything important again because the process is so effortless," Chen wrote. "It’s kind of like having the unpaid intern of my dreams at my beck and call, organizing my life for me. I think Siri on the iPhone is a life changer."

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