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iPhone 4S Sales Now Reservation-Only At Retail Stores In US and Canada

iPhone 4S Sales Now Reservation-Only At Retail Stores In US and Canada

MacRumors reports Apple has updated its website for customers in the US and Canada, noting that the iPhone 4S is only available for in-store reservation. On the other hand, European stores such as the UK one still report walk-in purchases on a first-come, first-served basis are available.

Apple has updated its “how to buy” page for the iPhone 4S to note that Apple retail stores in the United States and Canada are now selling the device on a reservation-only basis. Customers will need to visit Apple’s site after 9:00 PM each evening to reserve a phone for the following day.

In the UK, however, walk-in purchases are available for iPhone 4S on contract, not unlocked devices sold SIM-free. This particular measure has been likely put in place to avoid the long lines of grey market buyers that characterized the iPhone 4 launch last year; in the US and Canada, bigger markets for Apple than other launch countries of the iPhone 4S, reservation-only means Apple is perhaps trying to avoid the long lines and disappointed customers of last year, whilst retaining a retail distribution channel (which grants customers a free Personal Setup session with an Apple employee) at the same time. It’s very likely that this “restriction” will fade alongside Apple’s initial launch window (Apple also had to ramp up production of the 4S for 22 more countries on October 28th) and that remaining stock at the end of the day could be distributed to walk-in purchasers.

Earlier today, Apple announced over 4 million iPhone 4S units were sold during the first weekend, making the iPhone 4S the most successful iPhone launch in Apple’s history.