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Sales of iPhone 4S exceed expectations

It has been less than a week since the co-founder and former chief executive of one of the world's leading technological companies passed away.

And despite rumours that the company would lose its way without Steve Jobs' leadership, Apple has managed to pull off another commercial victory in the form of its latest mobile device.

The iPhone 4S – which was launched by Apple head of marketing Phil Schiller at the company headquarters in Cupertino, California last week – was met with a lukewarm response from industry commentators.

But sales of the product, which include its scaled-down iPhone 4 8GB model, have exceeded expectations.

In the US, AT&T sold more than 200,000 of the new mobiles within the first 12 hours of trading.

The American telco giant describe interest in the iPhone 4S as "the most successful iPhone launch we've ever had."

Similar reports indicating strong sales were made by the US telco Verizon Wireless, which said: "Systems were humming very strongly since three AM."

Requests for the less expensive version of the mobile are also said to be outstripping supply rates, according to US-based market analysts.

Telecommunication companies in Australia have also reported growing interest in the iPhone 4S.

Announcements from both Optus and Telstra indicated that current levels of consumer interest would lead to an increase in sales of the mobile.

Telstra is reported to have "experienced unprecedented interest in iPhone 4S" ahead of its official launch in Australia.

Rival telco Optus said it was thus far "pleased" with the level of consumer interest generated by the handset.

The two companies have also released their pricing schemes for the Australian market announcing a range of free, 24-month and capped plan contracts.

Prices for the Optus free plans for the iPhone 4S start at $79 per month for the 24-month contract and the iPhone 4 8GB version is available at $59 per month.

Apple is also taking pre-orders for the iPhone 4S, which for Australian consumers begin at $799 and take one to two weeks for shipping.