Despite the apparent disappointment from the absence of a redesigned iPhone 5 at last week's press event, Apple has revealed this morning that pre-orders for the iPhone 4S have topped one million in a single day. That crushes the previous single-day record of 600,000 held by its predecessor. If the momentum keeps up, the 4S may become the fastest-selling product in Apple history, undeterred by all the chatter online calling it underwhelming and forgettable.

The fifth generation of the company's smartphone comes with the same design as the iPhone 4, but includes a faster processor, a much-improved camera with an 8-megapixel sensor, better low-light performance and 1080p video capture, as well as a new personal voice assistant called Siri. There's also a redesigned antenna system, presumably to solve the signal attenuation problem, and the phone now supports both GSM and CDMA standards.

It's not a huge upgrade from the iPhone 4, but those with older devices are in for a nice performance bump along a taste of the future of iOS with Siri. A few other things may have come into play, like the nearly three-month delay from its usual release cycle, the simultaneous launch on three major U.S. carriers, and the fact that we're now in holiday territory.

The unfortunate death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs just a day after the 4S announcement may have also pushed the device to the forefront of the world's collective consciousness. After all, this is the last iPhone developed with Steve Jobs at the company, so there could be some sentiments at play too.

Apple didn't provide a breakdown of pre-orders but AT&T said it sold over 200,000 units in the first 12 hours of availability. The iPhone 4S will make its worldwide debut October 14 in United States, Australia, Japan, Canada, France, Germany and the U.K. Later in the month 22 more countries will get the 4S, on October 28, with a total of 70 countries getting the device by the end of the year. It comes in three sizes: 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399.