The pre-orders came as Mr. Jobs's funeral was due to be held on Friday, according to a person familiar with the situation. Apple has said there are no public services planned for the company's former CEO.
Two men line up in front of an Apple store in London on Friday to secure a spot, as the company and carriers began accepting pre-orders.
Reaction to the 4S is critical for Apple, because it is an indication of whether the company can continue to generate desire for its devices. Smartphones are Apple's single-largest product category by revenue.
Consumer demand for the iPhone 4S could be shaped by an outpouring of emotion surrounding this week's death of Mr. Jobs. "I wanted to show support and help to knock initial sales out of the ballpark," said David Michael, 46, who stayed up until 2:15 a.m. attempting to order a white iPhone 4S.
Mr. Michael, who was drawn to the phone because of its upgraded camera, said he began attempting to order the new device when pre-sales began shortly after midnight from his home in California, but experienced problems on the Apple and AT&T Inc.'s websites but ended up placing an order.
Analysts had a more muted reaction to the phone after Apple introduced it on Tuesday, with some predicting the company lost potential customers by not changing the external design of the phone or calling it an iPhone 5. The newest iPhone has a similar look to its predecessor, but sports a faster microprocessor and new voice-activated software.
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