AT&T: 'Most successful' iPhone 5 launch smashes sales records

The giant carrier says Apple's latest iPhone has broken sales records in the first weekend of the highly anticipated smartphone going on sale.

Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to surpass sales figures of previously launched iPhones. Apple

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 "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 "blown 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.

See CNET's full reporting on Apple's iPhone 5.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet.

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