First-day iPhone 5 booked orders top 2m

Industry observers see strong fourth quarter for Apple
Apple unveiled the new iPhone last week.
Apple unveiled the new iPhone last week.

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Apple Inc's final quarter of 2012 looks rosy thanks to booked orders for over 2m iPhone 5 handsets in the opening 24 hours of availability, reports Reuters.

Shares in the tech giant have been showing healthy third-quarter trading in anticipation of a strong launch for the new iPhone and in extended hours hit a milestone $700.

While it is not unusual for Apple products to sell out on opening day the iPhone 5 has doubled the company's first-day sales record. Last October, the company booked 1 million orders for the iPhone 4S in the first 24 hours. That topped Apple's previous one-day record of 600,000 sales for the iPhone 4.

On Monday it was announced that some pre-orders would not be met until October, although most would still be delivered by Friday.

According to Reuters, the iPhone accounts for half of Apple's revenue and Bloomberg has reported that the handset reaps 70% of the company's profits. In the face of unexpected demand, some industry commentators are revising estimates of projected earnings for the company.

"The pace of this iPhone 5 roll-out is the fastest in the iPhone's history and points to a big December quarter," said Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, who expects Apple to sell 45.21 million iPhones in the December quarter, up 22 percent from last year. Reitzes said his estimates "could still be conservative".

Canaccord Genuity's Michael Walkley said he now expected Apple to ship 9m to 10m iPhone 5s from Friday to September 29, the last day of its fiscal 2012 year. He also raised his earnings per share (EPS) estimates for the September and December quarters to $44.32 from $43.25, and to $56.96 from $56.90, respectively.

Wall Street analysts on average expect Apple to earn 44.25 cents per share in the December quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S estimates.

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