Published October 14, 2011
A faster iPhone with better software and an improved camera went on sale in seven countries on Friday as hundreds of buyers camped out for hours to be among the first to get one.
About 200 people were at Apple's Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan as the iPhone 4S went on sale at 8 a.m. Steve Wozniak, who created Apple with Steve Jobs in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was first in line at a store in Los Gatos, Calif.
Many said the event resembled a remembrance to Jobs, who died last week, a day after Apple Inc. announced the new phone.
Emily Smith, a 27-year-old user experience designer in New York, checked in to the line on the location-centric social network Foursquare. She got a virtual Steve Jobs badge that read: "Here's to the crazy ones. #ThankYouSteve."
Others joked that the 4S model stood "for Steve."
Many people came out despite the fact that they could have ordered phones online and had them shipped to their homes or offices.
Apple and phone companies in seven countries started taking orders for the iPhone 4S last Friday. Apple said Monday that more than 1 million orders came in, breaking the record set by last year's model, which was available in fewer countries and on fewer carriers.
The death of Jobs could be affecting sales. Marketing experts say products designed by widely admired figures such as Jobs usually see an upsurge in sales after their death.
Una Chen, a 24-year-old banker, said she was just happy to swap out her BlackBerry Bold for the new iPhone, particularly after a BlackBerry outage affected her phone this week.
"It's not good to have a phone and not be able to use it," Chen said.
Wozniak got in line at the California store even though he already had two new phones on the way. He told television station NBC11 on Thursday that while he waited for the store's opening Friday morning, he planned on getting caught up on his email and chatting with fans.
In the U.S., sales were beginning at 8 a.m. in each time zone. They were available at Apple stores, along with those of the three partner carriers, AT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Verizon Wireless. Some Best Buy, Target and Walmart stores and authorized resellers also carried the phones.
The base model of the iPhone 4S costs $199 in the U.S. with a two-year contract. It comes with 16 gigabytes of storage. Customers can get 32 gigabytes for $299 and 64 gigabytes for $399. Customers have a choice of white or black.
The phones also debuted Friday in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Britain. They are coming to 22 more countries by the end of the month.
The phone -- Apple's fifth -- has a faster processor and an improved camera compared with last year's model. It has a new operating system that allows you to sync content without needing a computer. It also includes a futuristic, voice-activated service that responds to spoken commands and questions such as "Do I need an umbrella today?"
However, some customers and investors were disappointed that Apple didn't launch a more radical new model -- an iPhone 5. It's been more than a year since Apple's previous model was released.