Ina Fried

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Launch of the iPhone 4S Leads to Siri-ously Good Sales for Carriers

It’s not a shocker, but the availability of the iPhone 4S gave Sprint its best sales day ever.

The company, which is investing heavily to at long last get the iPhone on its network, said it broke its record by 1 pm ET on Friday. Sprint is also now selling Apple’s iPhone 4 after years of going without an Apple phone in its lineup. (The iPhone’s existing carriers, AT&T and Verizon, also reported impressively strong sales; see updates below.)

“Sprint today reported its best ever day of sales in retail, web and telesales for a device family in Sprint history with the launch of iPhone 4S and iPhone 4,” Sprint product chief Fared Adib said in a statement. “The response to this device by current and new customers has surpassed our expectations and validates our customers’ desire for a truly unlimited data pricing plan.”

The iPhone went on sale on Friday at Apple’s retail stores as well as other locations including Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint stores. Apple said that it quickly sold 1 million phones during a pre-order period and all three U.S. carriers said they sold through their preorder allotments.

Update: A Verizon representative told AllThingsD that it is seeing strong traffic in its stores.

“Stores nationwide are reporting steady traffic as early-morning shoppers make purchases before heading to work,” said Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney. “We are seeing a nice mix of people who are first-time smartphone purchasers as well as those who are switching from competitors.”

Demand was particularly strong very early and during the lunch hour, Raney said. “Our customers were clearly excited to get their new iPhone 4s on the Verizon Wireless network,” Raney said. “We’re looking forward to a busy weekend.”

Update: And here’s the word from an AT&T spokesman: “As of 4:30 pm ET today, AT&T had already activated a record number of iPhones on our network -– and is on-track to double our previous record for activations on a single day.”

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