Apple fans in Australia and Japan today became the first to get their hands on the new iPhone as the US technology giant unleashed its first device since the death of co-founder Steve Jobs.
In a party atmosphere, hundreds of people queued outside Apple’s four-storey flagship Sydney store and at its counterpart in Tokyo, filming the experience on their iPhones and iPads as staff inside clapped, cheered and chanted.
The iPhone 4S is already a record-breaker for an Apple product, with more than one million sales in the first 24 hours of pre-orders around the world last week.
Bidding to build on the proven track record of the best-selling smartphone, Apple says the latest iteration boasts faster speeds, a voice-controlled assistant called Siri and an improved camera.
For some, it looks too similar to its predecessor and many fans, investors and analysts were initially underwhelmed following its October 4 unveiling, but sales are expected to benefit from an outpouring of sympathy for Jobs.
In Japan, service provider Softbank will for the first time no longer be the exclusive iPhone carrier as rival KDDI joins the fray. Both held separate countdown ceremonies in Tokyo’s Omotesando district to celebrate its launch.
More than 200 people queued at the Softbank store for the morning launch of the new model, with silver confetti showering down as fans cheered.
Today, the iPhone 4S also launches in Germany, France, Britain, the United States and Canada, before rolling out in 22 more countries by the end of October.