NEW YORK - Apple Inc.’s newest iPhone sold out for preorder at AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel Corp. yesterday, a day before the device officially goes on sale, according to the carriers’ websites.
Verizon Wireless, the largest US wireless operator, and Sprint, the third-biggest, showed no immediate stock of iPhone 4S 16-gigabyte models for preorder on their sites. AT&T, the number two carrier, is giving buyers a delivery estimate of three to four weeks, up from one to two days when preorders began Oct. 7.
The smartphone is for the first time being made available simultaneously at all three of the largest US carriers. Positive reviews and signs of robust demand for the device should help increase revenue for the wireless carriers in the years ahead, said Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics LLC in Boston.
Apple said this week that it received more than 1 million iPhone preorders on the first day, a record. Mike Abramsky, an RBC Capital Markets analyst in Toronto, estimated that 3 million iPhone 4S units were sold on the first weekend.
The early enthusiasm may be misleading, said Tero Kuittinen, an independent analyst. The iPhone 4S may be somewhat more significant to people who may be shopping for memorabilia following the death of Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs, Kuittinen said.