iPhone 5: orders top 2 million in 24 hours

Apple took more than two million orders for the iPhone 5 in 24 hours, “shattering” the record held by the previous model, the iPhone 4S, the firm has said.

Orders for the new model opened at midnight on Friday, Silicon Valley time, or 8am in Britain. It goes on sale this Friday, 21 September.

Analysts declared a success after Apple’s initial stock appeared to sell out in just one hour. Dispatch estimates quickly extended to two weeks, a week after launch day in America and Europe.

In comparison, it took 22 hours for the iPhone 4S to sell out, and 20 hours for the iPhone 4 to sell out.

Apple confirmed that demand for the iPhone had exceeded the initial supply and while the majority of orders will be delivered to customers on Friday, many are now scheduled for delivery in October.

“iPhone 5 pre-orders have shattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S and the customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing chief.

The Samsung Galaxy SIII, the best-selling Android handset, sold 10 million in less than two months earlier this year.

AT&T, the largest mobile network in the United States, announced that the iPhone 5 had set a new record. It said the iPhone 5 was the fastest-selling iPhone it has ever offered.

Queues are meanwhile already forming outside Apple Stores ahead of the iPhone’s release on Friday, with buyers hoping to snap up limited stock earmarked for shops on launch day.

Two charity fund-raisers have camped outside Apple’s flagship store in Covent Garden since Friday to become one of the first people to own an iPhone 5. They hope to raise money for Cancer Research UK by selling the handsets.

The device offers a host of mostly incremental improvements on the iPhone 4S. It is 18 per cent thinner and 20 per cent lighter, and runs twice as fast thanks to a new processor. The Retina screen is taller but the same width.

Apple has also upgraded the camera to include new features such as a low-light mode and a panorama feature.

The iPhone 5 is also Apple’s first smartphone capable of 4G, the faster mobile broadband technology. EE, Britain’s only compatible nework, is due to begin operating in Britain within weeks.

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