4 million iPhones 4Ss in 3 days. 135% better than the iPhone 4


Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a senior editor at Fortune.

Apple's latest gadget sets a new launch weekend record

Apple (aapl) announced Monday that it sold more than 4 million iPhone 4S units between 8 a.m. Friday and 12 midnight Sunday.

That's 135% better than the launch of the iPhone 4 in June 2010, and better than any analyst had predicted. The average estimate among the few who had ventured a guess was a little over 3 million.

In our poll of 4,300 readers conducted over the weekend, "more than 4 million" was the second most popular guess (22.78% of respondents) after "more than 3 million" (40.3%). See here.

Apple's press release below the fold.

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iPhone 4S First Weekend Sales Top Four Million

CUPERTINO, California—October 17, 2011— Apple® today announced it has sold over four million of its new iPhone® 4S, just three days after its launch on October 14. In addition, more than 25 million customers are already using iOS 5, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, in the first five days of its release, and more than 20 million customers have signed up for iCloud®, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices. iPhone 4S is available today in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK, and will be available in 22 more countries on October 28 and more than 70 countries by the end of the year.

“iPhone 4S is off to a great start with more than four million sold in its first weekend—the most ever for a phone and more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “iPhone 4S is a hit with customers around the world, and together with iOS 5 and iCloud, is the best iPhone ever.”

iPhone 4S is the most amazing iPhone yet, packed with incredible new features including Apple’s dual-core A5 chip for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics; an all new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and Siri™, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking.

Pricing & Availability

iPhone 4S comes in either black or white and is available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model, $299 (US) for the 32GB model and $399 (US) for the new 64GB model.* iPhone 4S is available from the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and select Best Buy, Target and Walmart stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iPhone 4 is available for just $99 (US) and iPhone 3GS is available for free with a two year contract.

iPhone 4S will be available on October 28 in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

*Qualified customers only. Requires a new two year rate plan, sold separately.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

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