Macworld UK reports that Vodafone, the latest UK wireless carrier to begin offering the iPhone, has shipped out 50,000 of the devices to customers who placed pre-orders.

Vodafone, the fourth mobile phone operator in the UK to stock the iPhone after O2, Orange and Tesco Mobile (in partnership with O2), shipped 50,000 Apple smartphones to customers today who pre-registered with the company.

Vodafone UK chief executive Guy Laurence citied "exceptional demand" for the iPhone despite pricing deals being similar to those offered by O2 and Orange.

The report notes that Vodafone may have been struggling to keep up with demand for shipments of the iPhone while also combating weather-related issues, having announced delivery delays for a number of areas last week.

Orange similarly reported strong demand on its iPhone launch day last November, claiming sales of 30,000 iPhones.

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