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iPhone 5: Two million sold in first 24 hours

Jessica Mellow, 27, has been camping out for the iPhone 5 since Thursday. Photo by USA Today.

Apple said that customers pre-ordered a staggering two million iPhone5 devices in the first 24 hours that the device was available. The figure was more than double the one million pre-orders through 24 hours for the previous generation iPhone 4S.

“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 SVP of worldwide marketing.

The device is expected to be a game-changer for the industry and affect carrier competitiveness as they head into the holiday sale season. AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless have all announced expansions of their LTE networks ahead of the iPhone 5 release.

Apple said the demand already exceeds its supply of the iPhone 5. The majority of pre-orders will be delivered this Friday, according to Apple, but many customers won’t receive their devices until October.

Meanwhile, AT&T Mobility announced that the iPhone 5 is its fastest-selling iPhone model ever. The carrier declined to give figures, but said that customers ordered more iPhone 5s than any previous model, both on its first day of pre-orders and over the weekend.

This Friday marks the first day that the iPhone 5 will be available in retail stores, and iPhone enthusiasts are already camping out in some locations. The device will be available at 356 Apple stores across the country, plus retail locations of AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless. Select Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and Walmart stores will also sell the new iPhone, as well as some authorized Apple resellers.

Online, all three of the largest U.S. carriers are heavily promoting iPhone 5 pre-orders on their home pages. Verizon Wireless is promising a delivery date of Oct. 5 for all three models; Sprint Nextel has the 32GB and 64GB models available for delivery this Friday, but the 16GB model is shipping with a delay of up to two weeks. On AT&T Mobility’s site, all three models are listed as shipping within 14 to 21 business days.

The iPhone 5 is scheduled to roll out to 22 more countries on Sept. 28, as well as across a handful of domestic regional carriers, including Leap Wireless, C Spire and Bluegrass Cellular.


Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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