iPhone 4S Release Frenzy: 1M Preorders in a Day - A Tribute to Steve Jobs?

Introduced a day before Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away, the iPhone 4S received more than one million pre-orders in a single day, 67 percent more than the previous version for the device.

Experts are speculating that the demand for the phone is a tribute to the technology icon’s legacy. Some are even stating that the pre-order sales from iPhone 4S showed its massive sales potential and is now poised to become the biggest launch day success story from Apple despite initial predictions.

“It’s the last phone developed with Steve Jobs at Apple,” said William Choi, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in a telephone interview with the Montreal Gazette Monday.

The flood of pre-orders signal the high consumer interest in a new model since it’s been 16 months (longer than usual) for the new model followed by the previous version.

Since the death of Jobs, the new model will be the first Apple product release. The iPhone accounts for about half of Apple’s sales and represents the company’s biggest source of revenue.

The pre-order iPhone 4S frenzy has stunned Apple. In a press release posted on Apple.com, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing said he was “blown away” by the consumer response to the iPhone 4S.

Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S last week pricing it at $199, $299 and $399. The device comes with a new voice command feature and a higher resolution camera.

For improved quality, it has an A5 chip that will make graphics seven times faster than the old processor and an “intelligent antenna system” for better call quality.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple shares added 3.6 percent to $383.09 in late-morning trading, rising with the broader market. The stock is up 19 percent this year.

JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna summarized the concerns this way, according to The Next Web: "We couldn’t help but come away with the impression that the advances, launch forum and presentations lacked much of the panache seen in the past. This could heighten investor anxieties around how the company will operate without visionary leader Steve Jobs at the helm as well as leave the door open for Android to continue gaining worldwide market share at a faster pace."