Glitches Resolved, iPhone 4S Goes On Sale Overnight

Iphone 4s

Whether the Apple executive team succeeds in selling consumers on the iPhone 4S after so much iPhone 5 fervor remains to be seen.


But the process started this morning at 12:01 PST, when Apple and its carrier partners AT&T, Verizon and now Sprint allowed pre-orders for the iPhone 4S. According to reports, the system groaned to a start, and the Apple Store itself was unavailable for the first 40 minutes.

Traditionally, pre-orders for a new iPhone bring even mighty to its knees. When the iPhone 4 launched over a year ago, the first allotment of devices sold through online quickly and getting through the online ordering system was tortuous. When we got online at 6 am ET today, three hours after the sale started, however, we had smooth sailing through to ordering, with phones still being promised for Oct. 14 delivery, the

The iPhone 4S also faces the problem of upgrade cycles. With so many units of the current 4S sold in just the last year to AT&T and only in recent months to Verizon customers, many customers will not be able to upgrade at the discounted prices. In our case, for instance, with an AT&T iPhone 4 purchased on the day and date of its release in July 2010, AT&T only offered the subsidized rate starting on Nov. 25.

Ordering the phones now would cost this customer several hundred dollars more than it will in six or seven weeks. By that point, who knows if rumors of a "real iPhone 5" aren't starting to circulate.

In addition to camera and processor upgrades, the iPhone 4S is especially relevant to marketers in its introduction of comprehensive voice recognition, or Siri. The increased processing power of the new device is designed to handle the task of interpreting natural language input to craft messages but perform complex functions on the phone, like making appointments.

iOS already includes a rudimentary voice command interface that can be used for hands-off calling or activating the music player functions on an iPhone. The Siri interface is considerably more ambitious, and if applied to third-party apps, could open up a rich new mode of interactivity with content. Earlier surveys suggested that consumers would be less than enthusiastic about an iPhone 4S refresh of the existing model's internal technology. In advance of the public announcement of the new models early this week, mobile ad network inMobi surveyed users to find that while 51% of current iPhone users would have upgrades to an iPhone 5, only 11% said they would upgrade to am iPhone 4S.

Of course, this survey was made before the details of the phones were made public. And it is highly unlikely that the high percentages associated with this survey would translate into so many people pulling the trigger and changing their mobile devices and calling/data plans.

Still, inMobi's survey suggested that there is a good deal in a name and a look and feel change. While 27% of Android phone owners were prepared to switch to an iPhone 5, only 11% were interested in jumping to an iPhone 4S.

But even an iPhone 4S is likely to attract RIM/Blackberry owners. While 52% of that group was interested in moving to an iPhone with a Version 5 upgrade, 28% still were interested in a less dramatic 4S update.

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