An Apple Store clerk in San Francisco shows customer Ken Shen some features… (Eric Risberg, Associated…)
Apple Inc. sold more than 4 million iPhone 4S units over the weekend, making it the fastest-selling iPhone ever.
That sales figure is the highest of any iPhone to date during that initial three-day period, said Apple Inc., which announced the number Monday.
The Cupertino, Calif., technology giant also said more than 25 million people have downloaded iOS 5 to their iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches in the five days since the operating system's release. And more than 20 million people have signed up for iCloud, Apple's free service that syncs data such as calendars, contacts and photos wirelessly across a user's computer and portable Apple gadgets, the company said. The service was also launched five days ago.
iPhone 4S sales were "more than double the iPhone 4 launch during its first three days," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said in the company announcement.
The previous-generation iPhone 4, launched in June 2010, is Apple's bestselling product; more of the devices have been sold than all earlier versions of the iPhone combined.
On the first day of in-store iPhone 4S sales, Sprint said the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S resulted in its best sales day for any product line it has ever carried. Sprint became the third carrier to sell the iPhone, following AT&T, which launched the first iPhone, and Verizon.
The iPhone 4S failed to wow many analysts and pundits when it was revealed Oct. 4, the day before Apple co-founder and technology icon Steve Jobs died.
From the outside, the iPhone 4S, which sells for about $200 to $600, looks nearly identical to the iPhone 4, but it features upgraded hardware with a dual-core A5 chip (similar to that found in the iPad 2) and a new 8-megapixel camera that can shoot up to 1080p high-definition video.
More than 1 million iPhone 4S handsets were pre-ordered in the first 24 hours the early orders began, about a week before the device's in-store launch.
So far, the iPhone 4S is for sale in the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and Britain. Apple said it will be available in 22 additional countries Oct. 28 and in more than 70 countries by the end of the year. In the U.S., the iPhone 4 and 4S are being sold by AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.