Apple: iPhone 5 orders topped 2M in 24 hours

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CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP)—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.

Since Apple started taking iPhone 5 orders on its website on Sept. 14, 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).

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NEW iPHONE 5—The Apple iPhone 5 is shown on display following the introduction of new Apple products in San Francisco, Sept. 12. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Apple said Monday that while most orders will be delivered on Friday, demand for the iPhone 5 exceeds the initial supply. As a result, some of the devices are scheduled for delivery in October.

The Cupertino, Calif. company’s stock added 1.2 percent, or $8.50, to close at $699.78 on Monday.

The iPhone 5 represents the first major revision of the iPhone’s screen size since the first model was introduced in 2007. The new iPhone 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. 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 new phone is also thinner and weighs less than previous models. It can operate on LTE cellular networks and sports a new processor and updated software.

T. Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, said he believes the iPhone 5’s “differentiated form factor versus the iPhone 4S” and other improvements should drive strong iPhone 5 sales. The record advanced orders on Friday and through the weekend caused Walkley to revise his previous prediction that Apple would sell 6 million of the new iPhones by Sept. 29. He now believes “Apple could ship 9 million to 10 million” in that time, he told investors in a note on Monday.

It won’t be easy for Apple to top the breakneck sales pace set by previous iPhones. Apple said last year that it sold over 4 million iPhone 4Ss just three days after its launch on Oct. 14. That launch occurred less than two weeks after the death of Apple’s iconic founder Steve Jobs and as the iPhone 4S went on sale, scores of Apple devotees were still mourning him with candlelight vigils and impromptu memorial ceremonies outside of Apple stores across the globe.

The iPhone 5 will be available at Apple’s 356 U.S. stores starting Friday. Each customer who makes a purchase at an Apple store will be offered free personal setup service, which will help them customize their device.

The phone will be available in more than 22 countries on Sept. 28.

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