Apple Announces Record Pre-Orders For iPhone 5: 2M in 24 Hours, 2X iPhone 4S Day One Sales

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Apple today announced that it managed to rack up 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 in 24 hours, two times as many as it managed for the iPhone 4S last year, which sold over 1 million devices during its first 24 hours of pre-order sales. That’s a new record, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been watching the progress of iPhone pre-order sales since the device originally hit the market.

The iPhone 4S eventually went on to sell more than 4 million devices over the course of its first weekend actually on store shelves, so expect the iPhone 5 to blow past that milestone, too. The iPhone 5 is initially available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K., adding two new countries (Hong Kong and Singapore) to the list of launch regions for the iPhone 4s, so expect that to influence early sales as well, especially since Hong Kong is a popular destination for those looking to resell the iPhone at a premium on the grey market in China.

Apple’s pre-order sales actually went relatively smoothly this time around, with few hiccups in site performance and availability when they went live early Friday morning, by most accounts. The initial crop of iPhone 5s (those shipping immediately in time for the September 21 release date) also sold out much, much faster than previous models, up to 20 times faster than the iPhone 4S. AT&T also saw record pre-order sales, it announced this morning, though specific numbers haven’t yet been released.