Apple Sold 2 Million iPhone 5s in 24 Hours, Shares Touch $700

Orders for the iPhone 5 topped 2 million in their first 24 hours, more than double the amount of its predecessor over the same period.

Apple Inc today announced that pre-orders of its iPhone® 5 topped two million in just 24 hours, more than double the previous record of one million held by iPhone 4S. Photo: Apple.com

Apple Inc booked orders for over two million iPhone 5 models in the first 24 hours, reflecting a higher-than-expected demand for the consumer device giant’s new smartphone and setting it up for a strong holiday quarter, Reuters reports.

“iPhone 5 pre-orders have shattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S and the customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPhone 5 is the best iPhone yet, the most beautiful product we’ve ever made, and we hope customers love it as much as we do.”

According to Yahoo, since Apple started taking iPhone 5 orders on its website at 3 a.m. EDT on Friday, buyers who have a two-year service agreement with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon Wireless have been able to order the phone for $199 (16 gigabyte model), $299 (32 GB) or $399 (64 GB model).

Apple shares rose in extended after-market trading to touch $700 per share for the first time. The shares have gained nearly 22 percent in the past 3-1/2 months in the build-up to the launch of the iPhone 5.

It is usual for Apple products to sell out the first day but this time around Apple has doubled its first-day sales record. For example, last October, Apple booked 1 million orders for the iPhone 4S, in the first 24 hours. That had beaten Apple’s previous one-day record of 600,000 sales for the iPhone 4.

“The pace of this iPhone 5 roll-out is the fastest in the iPhone’s history and points to a big December quarter,” said Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, who expects Apple to sell 45.21 million iPhones in the December quarter, up 22 percent from last year. Reitzes said his estimates “could still be conservative.”

According to the official statement, iPhone 5 will be available at 356 Apple retail stores in the US beginning at 8 a.m. local time on Friday, September 21.

Every customer who buys an iPhone 5 at an Apple retail store will be offered free Personal Setup service, helping them customize their iPhone 5 by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store and more, so they’ll be up and running with their new iPhone before they leave the store.

The iPhone 5 represents the first major revision of the iPhone’s screen size since the first model was introduced in 2007, as it has an elongated screen —4 inches (10.16 centimeters) measured diagonally— that allows room for another row of icons and lets widescreen movies fit better.

It means, for instance, that the calendar will now show five days at a time instead of just three. Previous iPhone models had 3.5-inch (8.89-centimeter) screens. The iPhone 5 is also thinner and weighs less than previous models. It can operate on LTE cellular networks and sports a new processor and updated software.

The iPhone 5 will appear in the shops worldwide to 22 more countries on September 28, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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