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Apple Inc. (AAPL): Record 2M iPhone Pre-Orders in First 24 Hours

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has once again outdone itself, as the company announced it has received 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5, which launches Friday – that is double what it gathered in pre-orders for the iPhone 4S last year, according to the company. The company said in its press release that early demand has outdistanced the initial supply, so some who have pre-ordered their smartphones may not have them delivered to them until early October, which is at least 10 days after the official launch day.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

“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, who is Apple’s worldwide marketing chief. “iPhone 5 is the best iPhone yet, the most beautiful product we’ve ever made, and we hope customers love it as much as we do.”

Last year, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) set a standard for pre-order excitement with 1 million 4S pre-orders, which was the previous record. While this year’s iPhone 5 is not considered by many to be a significant improvement – it’s faster, longer and thinner than the 4S, but comments have generally revolved around the device being “evolutionary, not revolutionary” – it seems pretty apparent that the hype and marketing of the device has overshadowed whatever lack of technical innovations there may be. This pre-order number would seem to be consistent with some analysts’s predictions that Apple (nc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might sell 6-8 million devices in the first month of release, and perhaps 20 million by the end of the calendar year.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced plans to release the iPhone 5 to 22 more countries next week, mostly in Europe and Scandinavia – along with New Zealand. The company is selling its three models in the U.S. at $199 for the 16GB version, $299 for 32GB and $399 for the 64GB version. These early returns could only signify positive momentum for investors in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, like hedge-fund manager Julian Robertson of Tiger Management.