Apple iPhone 4S
Some Apple stores offer unlocked and contract-free iPhone 4S. Apple

Mobile carrier AT&T says it has received more than 200,000 pre-orders for Apple's recently unveiled iPhone 4S, just 12 hours after opening it to pre-orders, making it the most successful iPhone launch ever.

The news was revealed Saturday when AT&T issued a statement confirming previous reports that the iPhone 4S had broken sales records in its opening 12 hours.

The iPhone 4S was unveiled last Tuesday at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Despite the high public interest in Apple's next iPhone the device initially met with a tepid consumer response.

The hesitance could have come from the disappointment of Apple fans hoping for the widely speculated next-generation iPhone 5, not a reworked version of Apple's current iPhone 4.

The iPhone 4S unveiling was also tempered by the death of Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs. Apple's ex-CEO and then Chairman passed away Wednesday just one day after the 4S' unveiling.

Despite its success in America, gauging the device's sucess in the UK is currently difficult. No UK mobile carrier selling the device has yet released pre-order figures for the iPhone 4S.

In the UK the iPhone 4S is currently available for pre-order on a number of mobile carriers' sites, including Vodafone and Orange.

The providers prices are pretty equitable in general, offering the iPhone 4S free on two-year contracts ranging from around £40 to £60 per month. Cheaper contracts reduce the monthly fee to around £25 per month but ask customers to shell out £380 for even the most basic model of the 4S.

Additionally, the device is available for pre-order sim-free direct from Apple for prices ranging from £499 to £699.