iPhone 4S sales did not take a cue from Apple shares in the aftermath of Steve Jobs' death. Apple Inc. has been expected to fare badly when Jobs finally disappeared, but the latest iProduct that Jobs lived to see defied gloomy predictions and is now emerging as probably the greatest of 'em all in terms of sales.
Though iPhone 4S is not a run-of-the-mill smartphone, hardly anyone expected it to do this well when the details were announced on Oct. 4. Let alone imagining that its sales would hit stratospheric heights, many analysts and tech observers were doubtful if it was the perfect strategic move from Apple sixteen months after iPhone 4 was released.
Between the downcast mood on Oct. 4 and current sales euphoria, only one thing of major consequence happened -- Steve Jobs' death. Is there any connection? Are loyal fans shoring up Job's Apple dream and proclaiming the cult-like trust in the iProducts at a time of grief?
According to telecom Analyst Foad Fadaghi, the demand is driven mainly by loyal Apple customers, and not by any massive exodus from Android phone owners. While the 4S might not win over non-Apple users that are waiting for unique features or design, demand from existing users is enough to make it a top selling smartphone in 2011, he told smarthouse.com.au.
Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, not the much anticipated iPhone 5, on Oct. 4. Months of rumination over the arrival of a drastically redesigned iPhone had reached fever pitch by then and the announcement of iPhone 4S underwhelmed the tech world and doused the fires of expectation.
However, as it turned out, iPhone 4S featured some important specs attributed to the imaginary iPhone 5, like 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU, an Apple A5 chipset and an 8-megapixel camera. It also had features like a 3.5-inch TFT Retina multi-touch display and is loaded with the latest Apple operating system iOS 5.
Sporting a high-speed download packet access (HSDPA) technology, the iPhone 4S will have data download speed that is nearly twice as fast as the iPhone 4. However, missing prominently were specs like edge-to-edge design, larger display, 4G LTE and NFC.
The way Apple shares responded to the Tuesday announcement of iPhone 4S was symbolic. The stocks lost five percent though it recouped some losses later on. It eventually ended lower.
Investors were spooked by Apple's inability to deliver a killer punch to Android, the seeming inability of Apple to put out a thoroughly redesigned iPhone in time and the prospect of Steve Jobs never returning to the helm of affairs at the talismanic tech company.
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.
And then, within hours came the news that Steve Jobs, the brain and soul behind an astonishing array of iProducts, was dead. Steve Jobs' death made for all Apple headlines in media, but iPhone 4S was quietly making inroads into the core of the Apple fan base.
Now, tech Web sites are predicting that Apple's fifth generation smartphone will become its fastest-selling device ever. This was exactly not the kind of reception the iPhone 4S announcement got on Oct. 4. When pre-orders started, iPhone 4S showed its massive sales potential and is now poised to become the biggest launch day success story from Apple.
According to AT&T, more than 200,000 iPhone 4S handsets have already been preordered, raising the prospect of iPhone 4S shattering all previous sales records at Apple.
Apple will begin delivering iPhone 4S on Oct. 14.