New Apple Record: 2 Million iPhones in 24 Hours
Technology Editor, CNBC.com
Apple sold two million iPhone 5s in the first 24 hours the new smartphone was available for pre-order, the company said on Monday.
Pre-orders for the latest iPhone are more than double the number of the iPhone 4S, which hit the one million mark in 24 hours last year.
Demand for the iPhone 5 surpassed Apple's immediate supply of the new smartphone, which is scheduled to ship Sept. 21, causing some customers' orders to be pushed back a week, the company said. (Read More: iPhone 5 Shipping Date Slips, Apple Seen Swamped )
AT&T said Monday they also had record iPhone saleswithin the first 24 hours, although the company did not disclose how many they sold.
Apple set a record last year when it sold more than four million of its iPhone 4S during the first three days it was available in stores, but analysts have higher expectations for Apple's iPhone 5, expecting it to break the four million mark during its opening weekend. (Read More: Surge in iPhone 5 Sales Forecast )
Strong pre-orders and strong sales during the first weekend the iPhone 5 goes on sale in stores could translate to a healthy holiday quarter for Apple, as iPhone sales account for about half of the company's revenue.
Apple sold over 26 million iPhones in its third quarter this year and while its fourth quarter ends Sept. 29, just a little over a week after the iPhone 5 goes on sale in stores, analysts are still expecting the tech giant to get a significant boost from the iPhone 5 for their last quarter of the year.
Tavis McCourt, an analyst for Raymond James, said that he expects Apple to sell about 8 million iPhones during the time period leading up to the last day of Apple's 4th quarter.
"Clearly, there will be demand for more than that, probably for 12 million or more by September 29, when their quarter closes, but the question is going to be, what is the supply and how much can they ship and book in that September quarter?" McCourt said on CNBC's Squawk on the StreetMonday.
McCourt, who has a $730 price target for Apple's stock, said that he expects Apple to sell about 49 million iPhones during the December quarter and for overall sales of the iPhone to be up significantly from last year because the iPhone is launching in more countries quicker than it has in the past.
Apple will be launching the new iPhone in 100 countries by the end of the year, whereas last year the iPhone 4S was only in 53 countries by year end, McCourt said. (Read More: All-American Apple? iPhone 5's Monster Lift for China )
Apple's CEO Tim Cook revealed the new iPhone 5 last Wednesday at an event in San Francisco. The new phone features a bigger screen, which allows for more icons on the display screen, 4G LTE connectivity and is 20 percent lighter than its predecessor, the iPhone 4S.