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New iPhone hits record million sales

Apple says first-day pre-orders of the iPhone 4S topped a million, breaking the record set by last year's model.

Apple and various phone companies in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Japan started taking orders last Friday. It hits stores this Friday.

The base model of the iPhone 4S costs $200 (¤146) with a two-year contract in the US. It has a faster processor and an improved camera compared with last year's model. However, some customers and investors were disappointed that Apple did not launch a more radical new model. It's been more than a year since the previous model was released.

Despite the record-breaking pace of iPhone 4S pre-orders, it's hard to determine whether consumer demand is stronger for the new device than it was for previous versions.

Although first-day orders for the iPhone 4 were 600,000 when it launched last year, Australia and Canada were not among the launch countries then -- they got the phone a month later.

Apple has also expanded the number of carriers in each country that sell the phone. This means that the potential customer base for the phone has expanded greatly since the last model was launched.

The death of Apple founder Steve Jobs last week could also be affecting sales. Marketing experts say products designed by widely admired figures such as Mr Jobs usually see an upsurge in sales after their death.

hnews@herald.ie