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World+Dog goes bonkers for iPhone 4S

Sales well up on iPhone 4 launch, says O2

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O2 has claimed it sold more iPhone 4S handsets in the first hour the gadget has been on sale than the number of iPhone 4s it shifted in 2010.

The new version of the smartphone went on sale in the UK at 8am this morning to the inevitable fan fanfare despite the grumblings of many a pundit over Apple's unwillingness to launch an iPhone 5.

The inevitable queues - some estimated to contain more than 1000 panting fanboys and girls - formed outside Apple shops in the early hours of the morning. However, one guy, Rob Shoesmith, a former binman from Coventry, camping outside the Covent Garden store for ten days in order to be the first to hand over 500 quid for the new phone.

Long lines formed outside Apple shops globally, seemingly with many more punters than last time round. Japanese telly reported a headcount 60 per cent up on the iPhone 4 debut's 500-strong Tokyo queue.

In Perth, Australia it's claimed that so many folk turned up they flooded out into the road and disrupted traffic.

Over in the States, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is first in the line for a 4S at the Los Gatos, California Apple Store. Couldn't the company send its "employee number one" a gratis handset?

Maybe not, if it's trying to push product into retail to meet demand. Bullish analysts are forecasting weekend sales of up to 4m units, though on average expectations are for 2-3m sales.

Apple sold 1.7m iPhone 4 units at that handset's launch last year, and most market watchers believe it will top that figure this time round. O2's initial feedback suggests that will indeed happen.

Apple's initial allocation has been sold. The phone maker's website now says fresh orders for the handset in ts 16, 32 and 64GB forms, in either black or white livery, won't ship for one to two weeks. ®

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