Apple breaks personal pre-order record for iPhone 5

Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 reached more than two million units in 24 hours — doubling the iPhone 4S’s previous pre-order record of more than one million units, according to an announcement today from Apple.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 began at midnight on Sept. 14, selling out in an hour. By comparison, it took 22 hours for the iPhone 4S to sell out of its pre-order stock. Those who were lucky enough to place a pre-order for their devices will begin receiving their phones on Sept. 21, although Apple noted that as demand is outstripping supply, some pre-orders will not arrive until October.  Currently Apple.com lists the expected delivery time for a pre-ordered iPhone 5 at 2-3 weeks, with ship date of early to mid-October for all available colors, models and carriers.

Customers who were not able or did not choose to pre-order an iPhone 5 are likely have long wait times ahead if they want to upgrade. After the iPhone 4S made its debut last year, some carriers did not have regular stock of devices available for purchase until November.  According to Fortune, some people have already begun camping out at Apple retail stores, but most seem to be using the exposure to promote other causes. In the UK two men are planning to wait for eight days outside Apple’s Covent Garden store to buy iPhone 5s, so they can auction off their purchases to raise money for cancer research.

Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 last week. As was widely anticipated, the device packs a larger 4-inch screen, a new A6 chip that doubles CPU and graphics processing speed, an 8 megapixel  f/2.4 aperture camera and a host of other improvements. The devices will retail for $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB) with a two contract in the U.S.

The iPhone 5 will be available for purchase in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore on Sept. 21. On Sept. 28 22 more countries will begin selling the device 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.