Record sales of the iPhone 4S have made it the most commercially successful launch of an Apple device in the company’s history.
The initial response to this latest version of the smart phone was one of apprehension after it was revealed that the new product was to be an improved iPhone 4 and not the rumoured iPhone 5.
But the launch was overshadowed by news the following day that Apple’s founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, had passed away. Jobs had retired in August when his health declined sharply due to pancreatic cancer.
In an e-mail to Apple employees, current Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.”
Despite the early scepticism surrounding the iPhone 4S and the questions surrounding whether Cook could prove a worthy successor to the notoriously controlling Jobs, the new handset has proven more popular than any other Apple device at launch having sold over 4 million units.
The iPhone 4S improves upon last year’s iPhone 4 in almost every function. The new phone possesses the same processing chip at the iPad 2 for improved speed as well as an increased battery life, a higher resolution camera and a better antenna.
However what has set this handset apart from predecessors is Siri, Apple’s new voice-recognition software, allowing the user to ask the phone questions which it will be able to answer through accessing data stored locally on the device or from the internet. This feature extends to include the dictation of text-messages and access to many of the phones functions without the need to press a button.
Apple products rarely live up to the fantastical expectations of the internet forums but come the release date further proves that the company knows what it is doing. The initial commercial success of the iPhone 4S may in part be down to consumer perception that this will be the last Apple product in which Steve Jobs had a hand.
While Jobs’s influence at Apple will be felt for years to come, the iPhone 4S’s initial success stands in part as a testament to him: a man who uncompromisingly shaped a company to his vision and dragged it from the edge of bankruptcy to a position of unparalleled success.