Apple has confirmed that it sold five million iPhone 5 smartphones in the first three days after the launch on Friday 21 September.

Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S phones in the first three days of sales in October 2011, and 1.7 million iPhone 4 phones in the same amount of time.

The company is already half way to selling the 10 million iPhone 5 models that Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects Apple to sell before the end of September when the company's fourth quarter ends.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible.”

Cook admitted that initial supplies have sold out, but confirmed that stores are receiving regular shipments of the new device. “While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly”.

He also noted: “Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date,” currently the estimated delivery dates online are listed at three to four weeks, however.

As we note in another report, the supply chain expertise is something that Cook brings to Apple that perhaps Jobs didn’t have, and as we wrote last week, analysts have been impressed by Apple’s plans for a fast role out of the new iPhone.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone,” added Cook.

The company also confirmed that more than 100 million iOS devices have been updated with iOS 6. Apple recently announced that it has sold 400 million iOS devices since the first iPhone debuted in 2007.

If you didn’t manage to get your hands on the iPhone 5 on Friday you could be in for a long wait - shipping times have slipped to three to four weeks. If you are desperate to get your hands on the new phone, your best bet is to turn up at your local Apple Store or phone shop and join the queue that is likely to form each morning.

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