Massive iPhone 4S pre-orders prompt Apple to order more, report says

Oct 14, 2011
Tech

Okay – I was wrong. Like just about everyone else in the tech world, I didn’t expect the iPhone 4S to be nearly as popular as it is, given the 18-month wait between iPhone models, the fact that Verizon just launched its iPhone 4 about six months ago, and that the iPhone 4S isn’t an […]

Okay – I was wrong.

Like just about everyone else in the tech world, I didn’t expect the iPhone 4S to be nearly as popular as it is, given the 18-month wait between iPhone models, the fact that Verizon just launched its iPhone 4 about six months ago, and that the iPhone 4S isn’t an iPhone 5.

Turns out, though, that any new iPhone will draw massive crowds from all three carriers. I’d be interested to see how many iPhone 4 owners are currently upgrading instead of waiting for the iPhone 5, but it seems that there’s a huge demand for iPhones, whether current users are upgrading or not.

In fact, Apple is selling so many iPhone 4S units that it can’t keep up with the demand, according to a report from AllThingsD. The story says that Apple has thrown another 5 million units on its iPhone 4S orders with Pegatron Technology, according to sources in the supply chain. That’s added to the 10 million iPhone 4S units that have already ordered by Apple.

Pegatron is the smaller of Apple’s two suppliers (the larger one is Foxconn) and AllThingsD reports that originally, Pegatron wasn’t due to start shipping units to Apple until 2012. That timetable has been moved up, with Apple asking for at least a few million of the Pegatron units before the end of the year. The supplier was also contracted to make about 15 percent of the total iPhone 4S order between the two companies, but it seems like Apple has raised that number as well.

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The additional orders suggest that nobody, even Apple, really knew how popular the iPhone 4S was going to be (so it wasn’t just me who was wrong). AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, the three U.S. carriers who now handle the iPhone, have all reported that their pre-orders for the devices have been sold out. Apple is taking orders online still, but states that it’ll be a couple weeks before customers receive those devices because demand is so high.

Consumer interest in iPhones is always high, but it seems like the iPhone 4S might be on pace to set some records down at Apple. And if the iPhone 4 is any indication, demand for the iPhone 4S will probably carry on for a while. The last iteration of the iPhone was almost puzzlingly popular even with the announcement of its replacement looming. Apple is probably suggesting a pretty big holiday season for the 4S, and with price drops for the iPhone 4 and 3GS, Apple’s smartphones should make some decent gifts, provided you can find one.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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