That disappointing announcement of a new iPhone that didn’t have the number 5 on it left many of us winded and wondering what they were thinking. Once Wall Street heard that news it triggered a small selloff.

Some of you declared your intention either to go Android or wait it out for the iPhone 5, identifying this as a failure of a beginning of the post-Jobs era. I too was disappointed, but figured they must have thought this out, that there’s no way they couldn’t see a little blowback coming, that what they did must have been good for business.

Well guess what chief, Apple sold over a million iPhone 4Ss in the first 24 hours of availability and how do you like that. That’s a lot, a million plus in 24 hours. New record actually. Certainly a new record for disappointments.

Place your bets on how the iPhone 5 will fare in comparison – but only in comparison to the iPhone because there is no other phone with this particular caliber of performance. By the way, regarding the post-Jobs era, turns out it doesn’t officially kick off for another four years.

Doug Simmons


  1. I’m surprised someone actually said this, but I just wanted to note that one of our writers attributes the success of the iPhone 4S to the timing of the death of Steve Jobs, remarking quite crassly that “Jobs dying was one of the best things to ever happen to Apple” and that he’s pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to write this article if “all the Apple fanboys [didn’t have to] run out and buy one because their hero [didn’t die yet].”

  2. what I said was: “apparently Jobs dying was one of the best things to ever happen to Apple for their sales figures.. if he hadn’t died the day after the announcement I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have sold this many… all the Apple fanboys had to run out and buy one because their hero died and it was his ‘last’ iPhone… the phone isn’t ground breaking or anything like that, or even a big upgrade over the iPhone 4, it’s just incremental really..”

  3. Thanks for clarifying.

    So, want to back that up with $40 that the iPhone 5 won’t break a million on its first day, with the man’s death no longer being such a huge sales asset capable of making even an incremental update the best seller of all phones ever by that point?

  4. already answered that:

    ” I don’t bet money, I’ve got kids to feed.. and it has nothing to do with the possibility of losing either.. I don’t even play the lottery..

    if you believe his death didn’t have anything to do with them selling that many, then I don’t know what to say without being rude or ignorant…”

  5. I didn’t say I believed that, but what I do believe is that the figure would be plenty high enough for this to have been regarded as a big success having exceeded expectations had the man not died recently, just as I believe the iPhone 5 will be a success whenever it touches down.

    Though it’s hard to prove the first half of that, the iPhone 5 selling well would mute your contention a good bit. Understood about your not wanting to gamble, but that bet’s on the table for Murani or D-Money if you guys would rather let me double down though feel free to close the tab now obviously.

  6. Lol.. I just found this, people are paying $175, yes that’s one hundred and seventy five dollars for the infamous Steve Jobs mock turtleneck, and they’re sold out in most places at that price!! Just like the iPhone 4S, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be sold out/back-ordered if the guy hadn’t died.. It’s a shirt, a black turtleneck that you can pick up for $20 to $30 most places I’m sure, but people are paying $175 for them.. yeah Simmons you’re right, his death had nothing to do with the sales of the iPhone 4S, nothing at ll…..

  7. Yeah I heard that about the turtlenecks. Wild stuff. Kind of makes one think that the “takeaway” from that is that the iPhone 4S would not have sold well if the guy hadn’t ever lived.

    Not to split hairs but I said that the phone would have been a success if Steve Jobs were announcing it rather than dying beforehand, not that it wasn’t a factor in anyone’s mind.

  8. Look at all of the backlash and pissed off people there were about the 4S announcement, even Apple stock fell with the announcement of the 4S. The way it was going if you followed social networking and comments on blogs and just all around the internet, the 4S wasn’t going to sell well at all. It might have been comparable to the iPhone 4 launch, and probably selling less actually, then Steve died and all those pissed off people decided they had to have the new iPhone seeing it as Steve’s last hurrah.
    I’d be interested in a poll about people buying the 4S, would they have bought it had Steve not died. I have a strong feeling though that the poll would be skewed because he died and the Apple folks/fanboys feel the need to support him and Apple.

  9. The stock rebounded later in the day, only off a few points.

    Lots of things got people talking about this particular phone, including that it didn’t look any different and wasn’t the iPhone 5 and that some guy named Tim Cook would be unveiling it.

    I’d put more stock in those at Apple making these macro decisions than the blog and Twitter analysis you did which is partly why I’m obviously confident the next phone will sell well in spite of the blunted Jobs effect and mock turtleneck prices crashing.

    I also think it’s a better phone. I like pixels.

    Also, it’s the latest Apple phone. People like having the latest iPhone. On top of that, it’s been a while since the last iPhone release, like 33% longer a wait than usual. That would make more people more antsy to get the new thing.

    Also, there are ton of more consumers in the smartphone now than there were in June 2010. I don’t know, maybe something like twice as many. A lot more.

    A lot of Blackberry owners don’t want Blackberries anymore and decided they’d get the next iPhone.

    It’s on three major US carriers.

    For the fanboys and nerds, it’s got a better screen (resolution would be very important to me), dual core, maybe the best camera and some other stuff.

    If you were attributing a large spike in something like cancer charity donations to Steve Jobs’s death, you’d find no disagreement with me. But to single that out as the make-or-break-it factor behind this thing being a success, or even one to easily measure, to me just sounds somewhere between questionable and completely wrong. And to say you can’t respond to that while letting your true feelings out without being rude or ignorant would be impossible for you, well, that may put us in the agree to disagree territory.

  10. […] for a few sites, one of the them is Mobility Digest and I’m in a discussion over there titled Well Played, Apple and it’s about how the iPhone 4S sold over 1 million on the first 24 hours. The feeling it seems […]

  11. @kristofer brozio:
    Well, I agree with you that Jobs’ death helped the sales pretty much, but iPhone 4S is not his last phone, His last phone was iPhone 4 technically, because Jobs released it last year and iPhone 4S just got his blessings. iPhone 4S is Tim Cook’s. But only a few Apple fanbois will realize this though.

  12. I don’t think his death helped the sales figures. I think its the fact that it launched on more carriers simultaneously as compared to last year and that it was longer than the standard year release. I think people had already made up their mind to order before Jobs death was announced. I am due an upgrade and am not going for it (not sure how since I got an iphone 4 not long after it launching).

  13. @Anthoney Pennington:
    Yes, I dont deny that. Last year AT&T only – iPhone 4 – 600000. Of course Verizon iPhone 4 had been released after January 2011.

    This year AT&T+Verizon+Sprint – and much later than actual upgrade cycle, that means more number of people ready for upgrade and also AT&T/Apple allowed a good number of people who have iPhone 4 to upgrade to iPhone 4S. >1000000.

  14. I ordered one (of course) but it had nothing to do with SJ’s death. I was ordering one regardless of what they announced that day. I want 64GB of space, I want the A5, and Siri. Simple as that. My iPhone 4 will go to my wife with iOS 5 installed and all will be fine in our Apple ecosystem, and I’ll even have a 3GS as a backup phone to boot.

    The difference from the iPhone 4 to the 4S is the same as the difference from the iPad to the iPad 2. As an owner of both of those, I can tell you with confidence that it’s a BIG difference. The performance boost is incredible. And on a phone, it’s even bigger of a deal. If the iPhone 5/iPad 3 with the A6 introduces a drastic performance increase over this current generation, it will be insanely fast. Like.. I can’t even imagine fast.

    Sure, there’s other devices on the market, and coming soon that have dual 1.5GHz, or even quad core chips, but they’re running an OS that isn’t optimized past the OEM experience. I’m interested to see how the ‘Nexus Prime’ runs ICS, but I don’t think there’s anything that an Android OEM could do at this point to sway me towards one of their phones. The interface is far too complicated, complex, and busy for me to use on a daily basis. Not that I can’t understand how to – I’ve been a computer engineer, networking engineer, system administrator, programmer, etc.. – I just don’t WANT to deal with it anymore. I like the simplicity that iOS offers me. Well… that and I’m HEAVILY invested in applications on iOS and having to repurchase them on Android would be maddening..

  15. “the phone isn’t ground breaking or anything like that, or even a big upgrade over the iPhone 4, it’s just incremental really..”

    Welcome to the world of Apple. Jobs an Apple managed to brainwash an entire of army of idiots and sycophants to buy their products, even if they aren’t worth it.

  16. I’ll do you a favor Simmons. I was going to write an article on this but i’ll just post this comment.

    One million + iPhone 4S sales in the first 24 hrs is an epic success. The epicness is not the number of preorders it is the solid proof that mindshare is the most valuable thing going these days. What OS is the clear and outright leader in smartphone sales? Android. In fact, Android is distancing themselves more from Apple every day. So let me ask a very clear and meaningful question.

    How many iPhone 4S preorders are from someone who isn’t a current iPhone user? Because just upgrading to a newer version doesn’t exactly help them in their efforts to slow down the Android Army’s march to world domination now does it?

  17. Read something else that’s VERY interesting… The iPhone 4 (best selling phone in America) and the iPhone 3GS (2nd bestselling phone in America) sales have not slowed at all even with the 4S release…

  18. […] not into charts.Maybe you’re thinking that that lull is anomalous and due to the white iPhone 4S fervor and will bounce back soon. All right, that’s certainly true that many iPhone 4S owners were […]

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