Lines may not have been as long as last year, but Apple and AT&T’s pre-sales strategy was certainly a success. The companies doubled sales expectations of 500,000 units for the opening weekend and outshined Palm’s much-hyped launch of the Pre smartphone – which is still off to a solid start with about 100,000 units sold in the U.S. alone. In addition, Apple said that in the five days since it debuted, the iPhone OS 3.0 has been downloaded by more than 6 million customers.
The announcement also represents the first public comment from Apple’s Steve Jobs in a while. The executive has been on a leave of absence since January to deal with lingering health issues, and may have received a liver transplant two months ago, if recent reports are to be believed.