Apple says iPhone 4S broke preorder record

NEW YORK - More than 1 million consumers in seven countries ordered Apple Inc's latest phone, the iPhone 4S, in the first day, beating the company's previous record despite complaints from fans when the product was unveiled.

Apple said on Monday that iPhone 4S preorders as of Friday surpassed its previous one-day record of 600,000 sales for last year's model, the iPhone 4.

The strong sales report was in contrast to complaints from some iPhone fans when Apple announced the phone on Tuesday. Many had hoped for a full redesign of the phone, which has new software and a faster chip but looks like the iPhone 4.

Preorders started about a day after Apple announced the death of co-founder Steve Jobs. Analysts said last week that some consumers could buy the device to commemorate the technology industry icon.

In the United States, three carriers are selling the latest phone, with Sprint Nextel joining AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless as an iPhone seller for the first time.

AT&T said on Friday that the 4S was its most successful iPhone introduction ever. The company, which had exclusive US rights to sell iPhone for more than three years, took more than 200,000 preorders for the 4S in the first 12 hours alone.

The phone will hit stores in seven countries - the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK - on Friday. It will be available in 22 countries by the end of October, Apple said.

By comparison, the iPhone 4 kicked off sales in just five countries last year.

Apple shares were up 3.2 per cent at $494.77 in early Nasdaq trading.