Apple 2.0

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Verizon halts iPhone orders. An estimated 100,000 units pre-sold

February 4, 2011: 10:14 AM ET

In two hours, Apple's smartphone breaks all the carrier's first-day launch sales

Source: Verizon Wireless

That didn't take long.

Verizon (VZ) announced Friday that it had halted pre-sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, having burned through its first shipment in less than a day.

It took only two hours -- from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. EST Thursday -- for the company to sell more phones than any first-day launch in its history, according to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead.

Within 17 hours it had run out of its "limited" supply -- which RBC Capital's Mike Abramsky estimates at something less than 100,000 units. (That number that seems low compared with the 600,000 iPhone 4s Apple pre-sold in one day last June.)

In any event, the stock out, Abramsky told clients, "affirms the strong pent-up demand for the Verizon iPhone, and bodes well for initial sell-through."

Based on first-day sales, Susquehanna's Jeff Fidacaro estimates that Verizon will sell 2.9 million iPhones before the end of March and a total of 11.6 million iPhones in 2011.

Some customers who pre-ordered iPhones have already been notified that their units have shipped. Retail sales of iPhones Verizon's outlets begin Feb. 10 at 7 a.m. local time. We expect to see some lines.

Also on Fortune.com:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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