Apple's long-awaited iPhone 5 smartphone has set a record in terms of pre-orders even before it has hit local stores.
Apple said on Monday that over 2 million units of the handset were sold last Friday alone, when online pre-orders began. This is double the rate of early interest shown in its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, which recorded 1 million pre-orders on the first day it was made available late last year.
Due to the influx of orders, deliveries may be delayed until after Friday, Apple said.
The U.S. tech giant began receiving pre-orders at the end of last week in nine countries including the U.S., the U.K. and France. In the U.S., the iPhone 5 will be available at stores starting from this Friday, but customers have already started lining up outside Apple stores in New York to get their hands on one.
Canaccord Genuity, a U.S. investment firm, forecast that the iPhone 5 will hit sales of 10 million within 15 days of its release.