Happy iPhone 4S Day: Crowds gather for Apple’s latest handset

iPhone_4S_first_customer

Today is iPhone 4S Day. At 8am today, Apple Stores around the US will open their gates to the mobs waiting anxiously outside.

Included in the crowd of rabid Apple fans this year – as with years past – is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who makes it his business to be first in line for the newest Apple products. According to a tweet posted last night, he scored the first spot in line at a Los Angeles Apple Store, and told TechCrunch he planned to stay up all night to get his mitts on the new iPhone 4S.

Of course, the Woz is far from the only Apple diehard braving the elements for a new cell phone. Similar queues gathered outside Apple Stores around the world, from London to Paris to Munich to Sydney. In Japan, hundreds bombarded a Tokyo Apple Store – so many that it crashed the servers of one of Japan’s wireless carriers due to an overload of iPhone 4S activations.

It’s no surprise the iPhone 4S is rallying the masses to wait for its arrival. According to Apple, customers placed more than 1 million pre-orders for its newest smartphone within the first 24 hours. All three US carriers – AT&T, Verizon Wirless and Sprint – sold out of their inventory of the 16GB iPhone 4S on Thursday. And Apple has reportedly had to increase its production orders of the device, with at least one manufacturer, Pegatron Technologies, scheduled to build an additional 5 million iPhone 4S units.

The iPhone 4S costs $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) or $399 (64GB), with the signing of a two-year contract. In addition to Apple Stores and carrier retail locations, Best Buy, Target, RadioShack and Sam’s Club also carry the iPhone 4S.

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