Apple consumers began lining up Friday morning for a chance to purchase the technology giant’s latest innovation, the iPhone 4S. While the device closely resembles the iPhone 4, which Apple released last year, it features many intriguing specifics, and Apple reported that its sales topped four million units over the weekend in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Last year more than 1.7 million units of the iPhone 4 were sold in its first weekend.
The release coincides with the end of Apple's era under founder Steve Jobs, who died this month after an eight-year battle with cancer. The iPhone 4S has received mostly positive reviews for its voice- recognition software, speedier processor, and improved camera. The device also provides Apple with fresh ammunition in its fight against Google Inc.'s Android software, which will appear on a host of new smart phones in the year-end holiday season.
Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Co. in New York, had predicted that it would "easily outpace any previous launch,” adding that it helps that the iPhone is available on the three largest U.S. carriers for the first time, which will bring in new buyers.
Depending on features, the iPhone 4S ranges in price from $199 to $399.
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