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New iPhone launch turns into remembrance for Jobs

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:53 p.m. HST, Oct 14, 2011

Photo Gallery: iPhone 4S goes on sale

NEW YORK >> It wasn't just the latest iPhone that drew people to Apple stores Friday.

Many consumers waited in lines for hours — sometimes enduring chilly temperatures and overnight thunderstorms — to remember Steve Jobs, Apple's visionary who died last week.

The company's first iPhone release since Jobs' death turned into another tribute. Some customers even joked that the new model 4S stood "for Steve."

Tony Medina, a student from Manhattan, stood outside Apple's flagship store on New York's Fifth Avenue for nine hours, waiting through rain. He had originally planned to order the phone online but decided to join a crowd of about 200 people to honor Jobs.

"For loyalty, I felt I had to do the line," he said. "I had to say thank you."

The new phone, which went on sale Friday in seven countries, is faster than the previous model and comes with better software and an improved camera. Yet the unveiling comes at a time when Apple is finding it difficult to maintain the excitement of previous iPhone introductions.

For starters, the phone is more widely available than in the past. In addition to Apple stores, it's also sold by three wireless carriers: AT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Verizon Wireless. Some Best Buy, Target and Walmart stores also carry the phones, as do authorized resellers.

Buyers were also able to preorder the phone on Apple's website and have it shipped to their homes or offices.

Many diehard Apple fans and investors were disappointed that Apple did not launch a more radically redesigned new model — an iPhone 5. It's been more than a year since Apple's previous model was released.

That also may have contributed to smaller gatherings at some Apple locations.

"People are not as excited about this version as they might have been" if an iPhone 5 came out," said Charles Prosser, a retired teacher and computer technician from Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Even so, hundreds of buyers camped out in front of stores for hours to be among the first to get an iPhone 4S.

Steve Wozniak, who created Apple with Jobs in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was first in line at a store in Los Gatos, Calif., having arrived on his Segway the afternoon before.

Wozniak, who typically waits in line for new Apple products, said he barely slept Thursday night as he was busy chatting with Apple fans, taking photos and giving autographs. Wozniak pre-ordered two new iPhones. He bought two more Friday.

"I just want to be part of an important event, so I feel it more deeply," he said.

Many said the event resembled a remembrance to Jobs, who died a day after Apple Inc. announced the new phone.

Emily Smith, a Web designer, checked in to the line in New York on the location-centric social network Foursquare. She got a virtual Steve Jobs badge that read: "Here's to the crazy ones. ThankYouSteve."

In Chicago, Nicole Pacheco dragged her brother and a friend out to buy Apple's latest gadget.

"I wanted to see how it was, to come out here for once," she said as she looked at the line that stretched past her. "We're kind of a memory for Steve Jobs. It's one of his last inventions. It kind of motivated me to get the next one."

Apple and phone companies started taking orders for the iPhone 4S last Friday. Apple said Monday that more than 1 million orders came in, breaking the record set by last year's model, which was available in fewer countries and on fewer carriers.

Jobs' death could be helping sales. Marketing experts say products designed by widely admired figures such as Jobs usually see an upsurge in sales after their death.

The base model of the iPhone 4S costs $199 in the U.S. with a two-year contract. It comes with 16 gigabytes of storage. Customers can get 32 gigabytes for $299 and 64 gigabytes for $399. The phones come in white or black.

The phones also debuted Friday in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Britain. They are coming to 22 more countries by the end of the month.

Besides a better processor and camera, the new phone has a new operating system that allows users to sync content without needing a computer. It also includes a futuristic, voice-activated service that responds to spoken commands and questions such as "Do I need an umbrella today?"

The new features appealed to Dina Nguyen, who came to the Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif., the same location where Jobs was known to show up on sale days. She and her brother, Kennedy, picked up four iPhones for their family.

The siblings said it was a bit sentimental to get the phones now, right after Jobs' death.

"He left a good legacy. He had a good life. He wanted to make people happy," Kennedy Nguyen said. "It's good to support that."


Associated Press writers Barbara Rodriguez in Chicago, Brooke Donald in Palo Alto, Calif., and Rachel Metz in San Francisco contributed to this report.

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bender wrote:
I don't get it. It was expected that Apple would release IPhone 5 but instead they came up with Iphone 4S. To me that implies that it is just a modified Iphone 4. Better to wait for IPhone 5 if you're into this kind of stuff.
on October 14,2011 | 05:34AM
alikarx03 wrote:
do you even know what your talking about...i don't think so
on October 15,2011 | 12:56AM
Pualena wrote:
Steve continues to sell Apple from above.
on October 14,2011 | 07:14AM
Eradication wrote:
Apple continues to ignore the sweatshop conditions in China where its products are made. Buying their product endorses those conditions. Americans are such hypocrites. On one hand thousands are marching across the country protesting the inequalities created by the banking industry and big business all the while texting on phones made in factories with deplorable working conditions.
on October 14,2011 | 07:40AM
ManoaHi wrote:
Please have a look at the documentary "Food Inc." and you will see that a good percentage of the food available in America is produced under similar conditions. Most items we buy are from these conditions. Do you drink only Fair Trade coffee? Basically, not condoning Foxconn's working conditions, it is difficult to do much of anything without coming across these conditions. How can you know for sure whether or not some parts not made in such conditions? For example, a lot has been shown about Nike, Addidas, et. al. and their conditions of labor. Since that is under a lot of scrutiny, they have cleaned up a bit, but how about the rubber producers, there has not been much shown on their working conditions. Most electronics have components that are produced in Foxconn's conditions. Foxconn is also huge, they also make devices for HP and other big names. Their components are in many products. At what point do you really know where things come from and what if you find everything you buy has come from such working conditions. Unless you are producing your own food, how are you going to keep it? Where are you going to get your utilities from since there are those utilities might be using parts from Foxconn? Forget about solar panels, unless you get the American or Japanese made firms. What about the silicon, how is that mined? In this day and age, you can never be sure of anything so what do you do? Besides, what are you posting your comment from? Are you not condoning such behavior with whatever computer you are using?
on October 14,2011 | 09:33AM
LemonySnickets wrote:
"Made in China"
on October 14,2011 | 11:28AM
gamouche wrote:
i'm satisfied with my $14.99 lg and a 20.00/month 400 minute plan:)
on October 14,2011 | 01:07PM
alikarx03 wrote:
well good for you. a phone is not just a phone anymore. lemme guess you also have a 128k computer too?/!
on October 15,2011 | 12:57AM
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