AT&T Says Preorders of IPhone 5 Surpass Those of Previous Models

AT&T Inc. (T), the largest U.S. phone company, said customers ordered a record number of the Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone 5.

AT&T subscribers ordered more of the new smartphone model than any previous iPhone both on its first day of preorders and during the weekend, the carrier said in a statement today, without providing details.

Apple shares rose to a record on Sept. 14 after the company said orders for the iPhone 5 from its online store won’t be shipped for two weeks, fueling speculation the new model had sold out. The iPhone 5 is still available for preorder at AT&T’s website and will be sold in its retail stores beginning Sept. 21 at 8 a.m. local time, AT&T said in the statement today.

AT&T, the first carrier in the world to sell the iPhone in 2007, said Oct. 20 it had activated more than 1 million iPhone 4S handsets, which it described then as the most successful start for sales of any iPhone model.

AT&T said it has the nation’s largest fourth-generation wireless network, covering 275 million people.

The iPhone is Apple’s best-selling product, making up about two-thirds of profit. The company’s entry into the smartphone market in 2007 has resulted in sales of 244 million iPhone units and helped Apple become the most valuable company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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