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Apple's 2014 smartphone lineup is already off to a record start, with 4 million preorders taken for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in their first 24 hours of availability, leading up to this Friday's launch.
The company said on Monday that demand for its newest iPhones has already exceeded the initial preorder supply, and many orders placed are scheduled to ship in October. The comments may suggest that Apple's initial launch weekend sales figures will be held back by supply rather than demand.
"iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.""Pre-orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus set a new record for Apple, and we can't wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday."
Last year, Apple sold 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c units in their launch weekend. That easily exceeded the record 5 million iPhone 5 units the company sold on that device's launch weekend in 2012.
When the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus become available this Friday, additional units will be available at Apple Stores and other retail partners for walk-in customers. The handset arrives first in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K.
Apple also announced on Monday that 20 additional countries will get the iPhone 6 starting the following Friday, Sept. 26. They include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
The company had already revealed last week that overnight preorders of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were at record levels. Last Friday, Apple characterized demand for its new, bigger phones as "incredible."
Demand was so strong that Apple and its carrier partners' websites experienced a number of problems accepting customer orders. Such issues have occurred every year since the first iPhone launched in 2007, with demand for Apple's latest models only growing each year.
As of Monday morning, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is advertised to ship within 7 to 10 business days, while the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus will ship in 3 to 4 weeks.