Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

Summary: The buzz for the iPhone 4S is lacking in the lines outside Apple stores. Why? A lot of people preordered the device online.

SHARE:

Apple customers lined up for the iPhone 4S on Friday, but the energy just wasn't there in the queue. Reason to panic? Not quite. A lot of folks---1 million of them in one day---preordered the iPhone 4S and U.S. carriers are sold out.

Credit: CNET/Marguerite Reardon

That fact leaves the people in line largely doing it for a cultural experience or some publicity. CNET News' blog on the New York City launch noted:

The anticipation is killing me. Well, actually not. Honestly, this launch just doesn't have the same energy and spark as other Apple product launches. But I'm sure they will sell the heck out of these things. My guess is most people who really wanted the iPhone 4S preordered it online. Smart move, if you ask me.

Of course, preordering is a smart move, but buying online diminishes the fervor. Stephen Shankland, writing from Paris, said:

Despite the healthy-sized crowd, though, I didn't see much evidence of the sort of fanboy passion that sometimes accompanies the arrival of Apple products these days.

In the UK, Silicon.com noted that O2 said sales are brisk for the iPhone 4S, but that distribution channel means there won't be massive lines outside of Apple's London outpost. Meanwhile, the Guardian in the UK said that half the people in line at the Apple store in London were there because they missed out on preorders.

ZDNet and CNET Australia noted a similar vibe Down Under. Australia was the first to start the iPhone 4S launch day parade.

CNET Australia's Joseph Hanlon noted:

Apple's iPhone 4S went on sale across Australia this morning to far less fanfare than has been seen in previous launches, with most eager iPhone shoppers in Sydney choosing the flagship Apple Store itself rather than the telco alternatives.

Stores selling the iPhone 4S opened at 8am rather than at midnight, prompting a far more civil and noticeably less festive experience than seen for the launches of the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4.

Apple staffers lined the windows across the levels of Sydney's flagship store in the city's CBD, welcoming a crowd of several hundred customers waiting on the street below.

None of these observations are likely to hamper iPhone 4S sales.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in a research note:

We are modeling for Apple to sell 25m iPhones in the Dec-11 quarter, up 77% from the 14.1m iPhones Apple sold in the Sep-10 quarter, when the iPhone 4 launch sales hit. In other words, we expected iPhone 4S to be the strongest iPhone launch ever, which Apple has now confirmed. While it is still early, this data point increases our confidence that iPhone 4S has the momentum to meet or exceed our 25m unit estimate for the Dec-11 quarter.

Also see CNET's iPhone 4S Sprint review.

Related:

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

72 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

    Interesting spin on the iPhone 4S Apple store launches. For another type of spin showing large lines outside Flagship stores in the UK, Sydney and in New York City, AppleInsider has embedded videos and photos which tend to counter the main points of Larry's blog.

    Not that I care too much either way. But seeing the spin from Apple sources and from Larry's sources reminds me of the political spins voiced by MSNBC and Fox over a topic or event reported on by each news organization. I have to admit that polar opposite spins on a mutual topic have always provided me with some amusement.
    kenosha77a
    • Completely agree. Here's some Aussie press...

      http://m.theage.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/apple-iphone-4s-launch-20111014-1lniy.html

      The line is huge...
      mattmuir
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

        @mattmuir

        Taken from the linked story: [i]:11.21pm: An ecstatic 17-year-old Mitch, who was first in line in Perth, has emerged from the Apple store holding two new iPhone 4S handsets and $2000 less in his pockets. "Wow, this is epic," he said.[/i]

        That pretty much sums up the intelligence of an iPhone buyer.
        UrNotPayingAttention
      • LOL!

        @chmod 777
        :)
        William Farrell
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

        @chmod 777: JFC, chill out dude.
        grayforge
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

        @mattmuir <br><br>really? I have been thinking the same thing for a week now: JFC... chill out... it's <i>just</i> a phone, and not even a game changer at that.

        Chill out? How 'bout telling that to @carolwade further down... it's a good thing their iPhone doesn't have genitalia
        UrNotPayingAttention
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

        @chmod 777&William Farrell<br>So you established the intelligence of all iphone buyers using a sample size of one. That one person isn't even random; in fact it's as biased as possible because you specifically chose someone stupid enough to make the news for being stupid.<br><br>As my experiences go, that pretty much sums up the intelligence of the majority of MS fans.
        anono
  • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

    I think you get less people willing to stand in line in October too. It is colder, rainier, darker...
    teetee1970
  • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

    I always take the OPINION of brain dead pundits with a grain of salt.
    Delvardo
  • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

    The question here is: who cares? Since the goal of buyers is to get the device, be it on pre-order or waiting hours in a line. If they get it in the end, is great news for them...
    xpect
    • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

      @xpect Absolutely. Also, if you can make a few clicks and then sit back and wait, rather than queue in the wet and cold (although we have bright sunshine and a blue, cloudless sky in South East England right now) even better.
      bargeemike
      • Or even better...

        @bargeemike

        Or even better, wait for a couple of months until you read that if it is worthy or not. Or wait a year and get it for half the price (if not half the year).
        magallanes
  • Inferior - Yet marketable

    Amazing that people will stand in line for this. It still hasn't caught up to my Droid 3 technologically. Where is that front-facing camera? And it still requires a Mac or PC and that horrendous pile of poo iTunes. While it can record HD video, it can't output it to your TV in HD like I can with a simple inexpensive HDMI cable connection. And $100 for another 16GB of memory? please. I added that to my Droid by popping in a 16GB SDcard for under $20. The power of tech ignorance is amazing. Maybe they improved the 4S to be able to make and maintain an actual voice call? The upgraded world radio just might help.
    NotMSUser
    • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

      @NotMSUser <br><br>Because many of these buyers are about the status symbol not the technology. It's like buying a designer bag. They can go back to school or work and in their mind they think are the envy of everyone.
      Turd Furgeson
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

        @Turd Furgeson And it's very obviously working if it's got the iHater club in an all out tizzy...
        athynz
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

        Pete "athynz" Athens
        The OP was talking about Droid. i was alluding more to people in general. Obviously I don't have numbers but I would guess most of these buyers already have Iphones. It's not a need based purchase.
        Turd Furgeson
    • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

      @NotMSUser I don't think I've ever seen a comment that got everything wrong.

      The phone has a front facing camera
      It can output HD video to the TV through Airplay
      It doesn't require a PC or Mac anymore

      Congrats, this post is the most ill informed I've ever read about the basic facts in 17 years on the internet.
      kent42
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

        @kent42 <br>You're wrong kent. The two posts above are as trollish as any other. Nothing original in them. In their minds they may believe they're being clever.
        MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
      • RE: Apple's iPhone 4S preorder pop means smaller lines, less fanfare

        @kent42 Really? Where are you going to sync all these files from or backup the device to? Don't say iCloud that would be ignorant! You can't even buy enough space to backup a 64 Gig iPad to the cloud!
        slickjim
    • Inferior? Oh clueless one, YOU are carrying the inferior phone

      @NotMSUser
      How do you think FaceTime works if the iPhone 4 & up doesn't have a front facing camera (which they do)? Yes you can buy a cable for direct HD display too or run it over the air WITHOUT A CABLE via Airplay with an Apple TV. Plus you have Siri, a vastly superior voice and contextual language recognition system. On Android voice control is extremely limited and dis-stink-ly INFERIOR. Plus iCloud and so many other new features in iOS5. How does it feel to carry around some pretty limited crap in your pocket? Try and get informed before posting and removing all doubt you're a fool.
      pgentry53