For iPhone 4S, pre-sales are staggering

As customers clamor to lock in their chance to get the newest and coolest gadget from Apple, we’re looking at record-setting numbers.

In fact, by this weekend, the number of people who have pre-ordered an iPhone 4S could reach as high as 4 million.

That number comes from Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe. Several other analysts have gone on record to predict between 2 million and 3 million.

Either way you slice it, those are amazing numbers and without a doubt, the handset will have the most successful launch of any iPhone.

But the iPhone 4S isn’t a revolutionary new phone. It’s very similar to the iPhone 4, so much so that die-hard Apple fans have expressed disappointment.

Nevertheless, there are three factors going for the iPhone 4S that pump it up easily beyond what any previous iPhone has had. For starters, the iPhone brand is stronger than ever so the group of repeat customers is higher.

Second, the phone will be available on three carriers, opening up the audience beyond any previous iPhone. And third, the death of Steve Jobs makes the iPhone 4S much more attractive since it is now also a piece of history as the last iPhone that Steve Jobs personally worked on, although he probably had very little to do with it.

The iPhone 4S will be in “pre-order status” for at least the next several days as every online outlet has sold out of launch units and cannot ship out new phones until additional stock is received.