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Apple Claims Largest Ever First-Day iPhone Pre-Orders of 600,000

Apple has just issued a press release announcing 600,000 pre-orders for iPhone 4 yesterday, "far higher" than the company anticipated. In the release, the company also apologizes for the frustration and difficulties experienced by those attempting to pre-order.

Yesterday Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Apple's new iPhone 4. It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock.

Earlier today, several iPhone carrier partners had indicated iPhone 4 traffic and pre-order volume ten times that of last year's iPhone 3GS launch. AT&T reported today that it had accepted 10-times the number of pre-order sales on the first day compared to the iPhone 3GS which went on sale last year.