Australia’s top telecoms companies said yesterday they had received unprecedented pre-launch interest in the updated iPhone, days after the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
The iPhone 4S hits the Australian market on Friday, but networks began taking orders over the weekend.
Telecom giant Telstra 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.
Vodafone said interest had been high, despite the device disappointing some analysts because of its similarity to the earlier iPhone 4, released last year.
“Australia’s love affair with iPhone continues,” director of sales Noel Hamill said.
“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 US 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.
Separately, South Korea’s LG Electronics yesterday launched a new smartphone with ultra-high-speed network technology in a bid to catch up with rivals Apple and Samsung.
LG, the world’s third--largest handset maker, said its Optimus Long-Term Evolution (LTE) smartphone based on 4G wireless technology offers photographs and videos with “true natural colors” that are easier on the eye than other smartphones.
The 4G wireless service, based on LTE technology, promises fast data traffic and quicker access to applications such as television program, movies and video streaming.
Samsung Electronics, LG’s bigger rival and the world’s No. 2 handset maker, last month introduced a new version of its popular Galaxy S II smartphone based on the technology.
“Since mobile devices are widely expected to become the main platform for media consumption in the LTE era, high-resolution displays on smartphones will be even more necessary,” said Park Jong-seok, chief of LG Electronics’ mobile unit, in a statement.