Big demand for new iPhone in Australia

Oct 10, 2011

Australia's top telecoms companies said Monday they had received unprecedented pre-launch interest in the updated iPhone, days after the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs.

The 4S hits the Australian market from Friday, but networks began taking orders over the weekend.

said there had been huge interest.

"Tens of thousands of customers have already registered their interest in iPhone 4S -- more than any other iPhone launch to date," a spokesman said, without revealing figures.

said interest had been high, despite the device disappointing some analysts due to its similarity to the earlier iPhone 4, released last year.

"Australias love affair with iPhone continues," said director of sales Noel Hamill.

"Since pre-ordering opened on Sunday, the appetite we've seen for the iPhone 4S has been very strong.

"It's the first time pre-ordering the iPhone has been available, and customers are definitely taking advantage of that to get in early."

Optus painted a similar picture, saying it was "really pleased" with the response since its pre-order site went live on Saturday.

"We cannot divulge volumes at this stage but are happy with the number of pre-orders to date and due to higher stock levels than previous years we are confident we can meet customer demand," a spokeswoman said.

Pre-orders began in the United States on Friday, with AT&T announcing it had sold more than 200,000 in the first 12 hours, which it described as "extraordinary demand".

The iPhone 4S looks the same as the iPhone 4 but the new smartphone is faster than its predecessor, has a better 8-megapixel camera and features new software such as the Siri personal assistant.

In addition to its stand-alone appeal, sales are expected to benefit from the enormous outpouring of sympathy for Jobs, who died last week aged 56, after years battling pancreatic cancer.

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