December 16, 2011. Mark this down in your calendar. Announcing the official arrival of the new Apple iPhone 4S in Malaysia. As proudly publicised by the three major Malaysian telcos online – Maxis, DiGi (and now Celcom), the unified launch of Apple‘s much-anticipated smartphone is set to, yet again, cause mass hysteria and massive queues. Maxis was first to the game to offer pre-registration for interested buyers. Just like the launch of the iPhone 4 last year, the pre-launch event at several venues the night before gets people lining hours before gates open. Having pre-registered entitles you to attend the pre-launch event and whatever activity that follows (expect entertainment, music) and at the stroke of midnight, you could be in queue to purchase your very own iPhone 4S.
I’ve since pre-registered and likely to be in queue (as I did for the iPhone 4 last year) during the day on Friday, Dec 16 . Spots are obviously limited, so people will tend to be there ridiculously early. There’s also an option to queue and purchase on Saturday, Dec 17. For the Maxis event, both the pre-launch and midnight launch event will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
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Each attendee is entitled to purchase a maximum of 2 units of iPhone 4S. No pricing has been announced. However, judging from unlocked versions in the UK and other countries, expect prices to be in the vicinity of RM2,400 (16GB), RM2,900 (32GB) and RM3,200 (64GB). The respective telcos will of course offer affordable, subsidised phone+data packages. If you’re on a budget, it’s no better time to pick up an 8GB iPhone 4 at only RM1,799. You won’t get Siri on it, but still heck of a decent phone by today’s standards. The venerable iPhone 3GS meanwhile, goes for just RM1,199, if you’re interested at all.
If queuing isn’t your thing (neither is it mine, really) and you’re not in the “I got there first” race, then log on to the Apple Store Online and place your order on December 16 to have Apple ship one to you at no charge. Expect delivery in 1-2 weeks time though.
The iPhone 4S sold more than four million units in three days since its launch Oct 14 this year, making it the fastest-selling iPhone ever. More than one million units were pre-ordered in the first 24 hours after it was revealed on Oct 4. In the UK recently, iPhone sales took 43% marketshare, knocking Android, surprisingly off the top spot. Three quarters of sales went to existing iPhone owners, which comes to no surprise at all, since a recent study has shown Apple iOS device users are the most loyal as compared to other platforms.
According to estimates by Asymco, Apple is expected to sell between 225 to 280 million iOS devices in 2012.