Smaller lines and less fuss than earlier launches characterized the debut of the iPhone 3G S on Friday. The sales process was by all accounts smooth, with no round-the-block lines and only a few reports of sell-outs, unlike the iPhone launches in 2007 and 2008, where camping out and a palpable euphoria were the norm.
The LA Times conjectures that fewer people in line and the feeling of less rabid excitement for the iPhone 3G S launch could be the result of online pre-ordering, something enabled by Apple for the first time with this release.
“We actually have hundreds of thousands of customers that have pre-ordered their iPhone,” AT&T Mobility President and CEO Ralph de la Vega told CNBC.
Tina Teng, an researcher with iSuppli Corp. said it could also be that fewer people in this recessionary year are willing to take on the cost of the data service plan.
But despite this, the launch will be a success and Apple could gain a coveted 10 percent smartphone market share thanks to the upgrade, said Teng. She noted that Apple will likely sell 18.7 million iPhones in 2009, reaching a 10 percent market share of the smartphone segment. Last year, Apple sold 13.7 million iPhones for an 8.4 percent market share.