Apple sells 1.7 million iPhone 4s in first three days


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The launch weekend for the iPhone 4 is over, and sales broke Apple Inc.’s record -- again.

More than 1.7 million units were sold in its first three days, the Cupertino-based company announced Monday, which beats last year’s iPhone 3GS record of 1 million in the same time period. Sold-out stores were reported on its first sales day, Thursday, as thousands around the world waited in the hourslong lines that have become an Apple tradition.


‘This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history,’ said CEO Steve Jobs in a statement. ‘Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply.’

The announcement came despite some controversy over the device, which boasts the newest update to Apple’s operating system -- iOS 4 -- and the iPhone4-to-iPhone4 video chatting feature, FaceTime.

Online ordering the week before the June 24 launch was shut down after more than 600,000 were sold due to concerns that demand couldn’t keep up with supply. Then, after the launch, customers complained that the phone loses signal when it is held in a certain way. Apple explained that holding the phone in a certain position can interfere with the antenna and recommended that customers don’t hold it that way.

And for those waiting to get their hands on the white version of the new iPhone, they either have to wait until the end of July or settle for black. Apple released a statement saying that the white model had proved to be ‘more challenging to manufacture than expected,’ but availability of the black phones remained unaffected.

Despite Apple’s setbacks, the iPhone 4’s early sales figures slightly exceeded Piper Jaffray & Co. analyst Gene Munster’s initial prediction of 1.5 million and sales are expected to remain strong as it becomes available in 18 additional countries by the end of July.

The new device also debuted in France, Japan, Germany and the U.K. and is scheduled to be on sale in 88 countries by September.


-- Kristena Hansen