Critics who said that the public might have less of a demand for the Apple iPhone 4S due to its relatively minor upgrades might be quieted, as AT&T has announced that it sold over 200,000 pre-orders for the smartphone in a mere 12 hours since the option went live for customers. The other U.S. carriers selling the iPhone, Sprint and Verizon Wireless, have not announced exact numbers of pre-orders, but a quick check on their availability online shows many options delayed or even sold out.
Apple's own website lists a 1 to 2 week wait for each model from all three carriers. AT&T's website says that ship times for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions are in the 14 to 21 day range, while Verizon Wireless says each model will ship on October 21, a week after the phone becomes available in stores. Those who are itching to get their pre-order in and want the phone next week might have the best luck with Sprint, though they will have to opt for the higher capacity models. Sprint says the 16GB version is sold out completely and is no longer taking pre-orders for it. The 32GB and 64GB are still listed with an October 14 ship date, so orders placed for those might be fulfilled next week. The 16GB model sells for $199 with a new two-year contract, while the 32GB and 64GB versions cost $299 and $399 respectively.
Following Apple's announcement of the iPhone 4S, many critics said that demand for the popular smartphone would wane because the exterior design is the same as the 15-month old iPhone 4. That apparently isn't the case, as can be seen from the high demand for pre-orders of the iPhone 4S. Apple's sales record for the iPhone was set last June for the iPhone 4 launch, and stands at 1.7 million units in three days. At the pace that the iPhone 4S is selling, there is a good chance that Apple could see a new sales record with the new model when it hits stores on October 14.