St. Cloud Apple fans turn out for iPhone 4S launch

St. Cloud Apple fans turn out for iPhone 4S launch Click to Enlarge Photo:

Oct 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI, AP) - Apple's new iPhone model is now on sale across America -- and nowhere were the tech savvy happier Friday morning than in St. Cloud.

Several dozen shoppers began lining up after 5 a.m. Friday outside AT&T's new store in the Crossroads Center mall, all ready to pick up the new iPhone 4S. The latest version of Apple's popular smart phone went onsale to lines of customers and heightened expectation at 8 a.m. in each time zone Friday.

By 10 a.m., the St. Cloud storefront had already sold more than 100 new iPhones, AT&T Minnesota and Northern Plains spokesman Alex Carey said.

"Sales were rampant here," Carey said. "People were steadily cruising through the malls and picking up their devices."

Apple stores are selling them, as are AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless stores. Some Best Buy, Target and Walmart stores and authorized resellers are also carrying the phones. The base model of the iPhone 4S costs $199 with a two-year contract. Customers have a choice of white or black.

While past Apple product rollouts have been met with rapid demand, followed by quick sellouts, Carey said that's not the case this time. Because AT&T's 4S preorders broke sales records, they anticipated exceptional demand and Carey predicted any St. Cloud customer looking for the new gadget Friday would leave happy.

"Unlike in the past, we do have plenty of product," Carey said.

The phone -- Apple's fifth -- has a faster processor and an improved camera compared with last year's model. However, some customers and investors were disappointed that Apple didn't launch a more radical new model. It's been more than a year since Apple's previous model was released.

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