iPhone 5 release date aside, iPhone 4S preorders spike amid Jobs death
October 8, 2011 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
Apparently all those frustrated by Apple’s failure to announce an iPhone 5 this week are punishing Apple by crashing its website with a flood of iPhone 4S preorders. Even with the specter of the iPhone 5 scoring a release date anywhere from four to twelve months from now, buyers went wild last night at the start of the iPhone 4S pre-order cycle, lighting up Apple.com to the point that the online store was overwhelmed with traffic. Users reported the same difficulty when they attempted to score the new iPhone through the official websites for iPhone 4S carriers AT&T, Verizon, and newcomer Sprint as well. In other words the iPhone 4S broke four of the world’s larger eCommerce sites just a few days after the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs broke Twitter as the news broke the world’s heart. Even as Apple users paid tribute to Jobs across the internet and at Apple retail stores worldwide, iPhone 4S presales began at a more frenzied pace than the public’s initially dour reaction to the “seen that before” iPhone 4S on the day of its introduction earlier this week, with AT&T now reporting that it saw two hundred thousand preorders the first night (that’s not counting Verizon and Sprint, who have their own preorders), making the iPhone 4S already more popular on the carrier than the iPhone 4 was when it went into initial preorder mode last year. That’s even as others continue to stick with their initial stance that they’ll be waiting for the iPhone 5, whenever it arrives, and whatever it ends up being…
The initial criticism of the iPhone 4S was simply that it “isn’t the iPhone 5″ which eventually boiled down to the more specific issue that the 4S looks precisely like the existing iPhone 4. It’s not thinner, its screen isn’t bigger, and there’s no new inspiration behind the same body style which has been employed for four separate launches now once the original iPhone 4, Verizon iPhone 4, late arriving white iPhone 4, and now the iPhone 4S are all tallied. But as the week has gone on, those initial complaints about what isn’t different about the iPhone 4S appear to have at least partially given way to a more pragmatic look at what it does bring to the table. The 4S is significantly faster, so much so that some of the coolest new features of the iOS 5 operating system can’t even run on the older iPhone 4. Battery life is significantly better, the storage ceiling is has been doubled, and so on. And yet one can’t help but note that the public’s opinion of the iPhone 4S changed significantly after the jolting death of Steve Jobs…
It’s been said in the past thirty-six hours, by too many people to credit just one of them for it, that the S in iPhone 4S stands for “Steve.” In hindsight it’s clear that Tim Cook and company took the stage on Tuesday knowing that Jobs was on his deathbed. The lack of any mention of Jobs one way or the other must have been at his insistence; he’d likely even be disappointed that Apple has an eight hundred pixel wide picture of him on the apple.com homepage. His focus was always on the products and their greatness. He took the stage each year so he could sell you on their greatness; he was aware of his own celebrity status but only willing to embrace it to the precise point at which it would help promote his products and no farther. And yet his untimely death (not that a month from now or a month earlier would have been any less untimely) may have unexpectedly softened the public’s view of the iPhone 4S. It’s a worthy upgrade and easily the most recommendable smartphone on the market for mainstream consumers. It’s just the kind of product which doesn’t initially suck you in like an impressively redesigned iPhone 5 would have. In contrast the 4S, which looks a little too much like the girl you’ve been itching to break up with, requires a second look in order to take in all of its inner beauty. And maybe it’s taken a jolt like Steve’s passing in order for the world to take that second look at the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 will come eventually, with some undetermined release date at some point next year, and it can be dealt with at that time. For now, the iPhone 4S is both the final iPhone to come to market during Steve Jobs’ lifetime, and also by far the most superior one. It may not have that iPhone 5 supermodel air of mystery and intrigued, but the 4S runs circles around its iPhone 4 identical twin. And after all, it does feature a body styling which Steve signed off on. Here’s more on the iPhone 5 release date.
Updated 12:40pm PST with additional information on iPhone 4S preorders