While the hype was more subdued this time around, the latest iPhone still sold in monster numbers in its first weekend of sales. Over a million 3GSs were sold in the three days following Friday’s release. Lines for the phone were thinner than last year, but dedicated Apple fans still lined up to buy the product as soon as it hit the shelves, and the 3GS finished the weekend by selling just as many units as the 3G did in its first weekend. The phone also underwent a small makeover, dropping the space before the S in its name, changing from the 3G S at its release to the 3GS today. The spelling change makes it look more like a new model than the update it is.

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster says that 56 percent of 3GS buyers were replacing older iPhone models, indicating the strength of the brand.

“We believe this shows Apple is developing brand loyalty not enjoyed by other mobile phone makers,” Munster writes.

The analyst also notes that significantly fewer people this year bought the phone with the most storage space (32 GBs), but that the number of Blackberry owners buying an iPhone doubled from 6 percent last release to 12 percent this weekend.

Another big announcement concerned Steve Jobs’ health. The Apple CEO had a liver transplant in April and is recovering, according to the Wall Street Journal. Jobs is expected to return to Apple at the end of the month.

As well, Apple announced that consumers downloaded more than 6 million copies of iPhone 3.0 OS, which adds features like cut and paste, MMS, search and a landscape keyboard, in the first five days of its release.

By Mark Alvarez