Apple has received more than a million pre-orders for the iPhone 4S in a single day, toppling the previous record of 600,000 set by the iPhone 4 last year, the company says.

The preorder numbers for the iPhone 4S put Apple on pace to sell around 3 million in its first weekend, Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital Markets told AppleInsider.

The early sales figures suggest Apple could surpass a previous prediction of 25 million units sold during the holiday quarter that ends with December, said analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. If Apple sells 25 million iPhones, it will be up by 77 per cent from the 14.1 million handsets Apple sold in the September quarter of 2010, when the iPhone 4 launched.

The iPhone 4S has significant hardware upgrades, though it looks identical to the iPhone 4. It is equipped with an A5 chip, iOS 5, Siri Voice assistant and an 8-megapixel camera along with many features.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S began Friday last week. The company will start shipping the phone this Friday in the U.S, Australia, Japan, Canada, France, Germany and the UK. It is available with a new 2-year contract for $199, $299 and $399 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models of the phone, respectively. The phone is available on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

It appears that the iPhone 4S has taken over the champion attributes from its precursors and is ready to carry on and fortify Apple’s position in the smartphone market.

Apple’s founder, the man behind its groundbreaking achievements, Steve Jobs, passed away two days after the launch of iPhone 4S. After Jobs' demise, the high orders for the iPhone 4S have come as a welcome relief for Apple.