AT&T: iPhone 5 'most successful iPhone launch ever'

Summary:Network giant AT&T says Apple's latest iPhone has broken sales record in the first weekend of the highly-anticipated smartphone going on sale.

AT&T said today that the iPhone 5 has sold faster than any previous model of the Apple smartphone.

The network declined to offer numbers on the first weekend of the iPhone 5 going on sale -- normally reserved for Apple, in which an announcement is expected in the coming days -- but the cell network giant said it set a new "sales record" for its first day of pre-orders and over the weekend. 

Apple's new smartphone comes with a 4-inch Retina display, global 4G LTE coverage, an improved A6 processor and 1GB memory, and a new Lightning dock connector. 

The iPhone 5 was announced on Wednesday and was available for pre-order on Friday. Almost as soon as the device went up for sale on carrier's sites at 12.01 a.m. PT, many carrier sites struggled to stay afloat. AT&T's own site hiccuped through the early morning and eventually came back online close to two hours after the device went on sale.

In the first hour, the first batch of iPhone 5 smartphones were sold out, pushing back delivery times from September 21 to as far as early October.

Apple said on Friday, following the outages and delays, that it was "blow away by the customer response," and noted that: "Pre-orders for iPhone 5 have been incredible."

Apple is expected to sell between 6 million to 10 million iPhone's in September alone, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, with an overall 49 million units in the fourth-quarter in the run-up to the Christmas holiday season.

Image credit: James Martin/CNET.

Topics: iPhone, 4G, Apple, AT&T, Smartphones

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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