Apple iPhone 5 online pre-orders started this morning, and it only took about an hour or two for the initial batch of new smartphones to sell out. That means most online pre-order customers won't get their new iPhones until after 21 September, the first day Apple is making them available (including in stores).

By 7 a.m. Friday, the wait time for delivery was up to two weeks for pre-ordered iPhone 5 devices and new Lightning adapters were shown not to be available until October. Reports surfaced as well that the Apple and partner carrier websites had performance issues during the initial pre-order rush.

The early demand for the iPhone 5 would seem to blow away that for the iPhone 4 and 4S. TechCrunch recalls that the 4S pre-orders sold out in 22 hours, the iPhone 4 in 20 hours. 

Though of course it's not clear whether Apple had a smaller inventory to sell this time around, as there had been plenty of rumors about supply shortages leading up to the announcement of the iPhone 5 earlier this week.

The coming of the iPhone 5 has had market watchers in a tizzy, with some Wall Street prognosticators looking for Apple to sell more than 10 million of the new smartphones this quarter. 

The new iPhone boasts a lighter, thinner, taller design, plus support for 4G LTE networking and other goodies.

See also:

iPhone 5 Advisor: download this complete guide to the iPhone 5 today
Hands on with the iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5: UK price guide