* More than 2 million preorders in first 24 hours
* Majority of ordered phones to be delivered by Sept. 21
* Analysts raise sales, earnings estimate
* Apple shares top $700 for first time
By Poornima Gupta and Sayantani Ghosh
Sept 17 (Reuters) - Apple Inc booked orders for over two million iPhone 5 models in the first 24 hours, reflecting a higher-than-expected demand for the consumer device giant's new smartphone and setting it up for a strong holiday quarter.
Apple shares rose in extended after-market trading to touch $700 per share for the first time. They have gained nearly 22 percent in the past 3-1/2 months in the build-up to the launch of the iPhone 5.
Apple said on Monday that pre-orders outstripped initial supply but it would deliver most phones as planned by Friday, the first day of delivery. Many would not be available until October, however.
It is not unusual for Apple products to sell out the first day but this time around Apple has doubled its first-day sales record. Last October, the company booked 1 million orders for the iPhone 4S, in the first 24 hours. That had beaten Apple's previous one-day record of 600,000 sales for the iPhone 4.
The strong preorders could mean a huge holiday quarter for Apple as the iPhone -- its marquee device -- accounts for half of Apple's revenue.
Apple will make initial deliveries of the iPhone 5 by Sept. 21 in the United States and most of the major European markets, such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The phone then goes on sale on Sept. 28 in 22 other countries.
Given the demand for the device so far and Apple's aggressive rollout of it internationally, some analysts raised their sales and earnings estimates.
"The pace of this iPhone 5 roll-out is the fastest in the iPhone's history and points to a big December quarter," said Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, who expects Apple to sell 45.21 million iPhones in the December quarter, up 22 percent from last year. Reitzes said his estimates "could still be conservative."
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley said he now expected Apple to ship 9 million to 10 million iPhone 5s from Friday to Sept. 29, the last day of its fiscal 2012 year.
He also raised his earnings per share estimates for the September and December quarters to $44.32 from $43.25, and to $56.96 from $56.90, respectively.
Wall Street analysts on average expect Apple to earn 44.25 cents per share in the December quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S estimates.
The new phone, which will appear in stores on Friday for walk-in purchases, has a larger, 4-inch screen and is slimmer and far lighter than the previous model. The iPhone 5 supports the faster 4G network and also comes with a number of software updates, including Apple's new in-house maps feature.
Apple began taking orders for the iPhone 5 at midnight Pacific time on Friday (0700 GMT Saturday). Shipping dates for the smartphone slipped by a week within an hour of the start of preorders.
On Monday morning, Apple's U.S. store, at www.apple.com, showed preorders placed at that time would take two to three weeks to ship.
AT&T SETS SALES RECORD
Wall Street is also keeping a close eye on the supply of the smartphone.
"We still believe Apple is facing significant production constraints due to a move toward in-cell display technology, which pushes a significant amount of units into the December and March quarters," Reitzes said.
One of Apple's key suppliers for screens, Sharp Corp , is struggling with high costs and scrambling to raise funds to pay debt.
The latest iPhone comes as competition in the smartphone market has reached a fever-pitch with Apple up against phones that run on Google Inc's Android software. Android has become the most-used mobile operating system in the world, while Apple's key supplier and rival, Samsung Electronics, has taken the lead in smartphone sales.
But Apple appears to be making headway into the corporate market, a traditional stronghold of now-struggling Canadian company Research In Motion
Yahoo Inc has instituted a new corporate policy that allows employees to pick from a host of smartphones, including the iPhone 5 and Android-based phones such as Samsung's Galaxy S3. Yahoo, which previously gave out RIM's Blackberry phones, will no longer support them, according to Business Insider blog, which cited an internal memo from Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer.
Yahoo declined to comment.
AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service provider, said demand over the weekend had made the iPhone 5 the fastest-selling iPhone the company has ever offered.
AT&T did not disclose how many iPhones it had sold, but said the iPhone 5 was still available for preorder and would go on sale Sept. 21 at AT&T retail stores.
All the phones carriers, including Verizon Communications Inc and Sprint Nextel Corp, showed delays of up to three weeks in shipping the phone.
European carriers also reported brisk sales. France Telecom's Orange said bookings for the new phone "have been very strong, breaking the records of what we saw for the iPhone 4 or 4S." But the carrier said it could deliver preorders on time.
Analysts have forecast that Apple will have sold more than 30 million iPhones, including older models, by the end of September.
Also on HuffPost:
1. Give It To Your Kids So They Stop Taking Yours...
Every parent, aunt and uncle knows that no toy in the history of toys has ever been as appealing to a kid as an iPhone. They are shiny, they have games and grown-ups use them for important things. More importantly, they are either off-limits or doled out in limited quantities as a reward for, say, sitting still for a minute. Load up your old iPhone with games and give it to a deserving child in your life.
2. ...Or To Your Mom So She Can Finally See The Light
Alternately, if a Luddite adult has been thinking of taking the plunge into the world of smartphones, your old iPhone may help him or her get over the hump. If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S, you might also find someone who's still hanging on to an earlier model and give them the gift of an upgrade. You may just buy a friend for life (or at least until iPhone 6 comes out).
3. Use It As A Teeny-Tiny iPad
You'll be able to watch videos, send email and search Wikipedia for random facts to end cocktail-party disagreements with your decommissioned iPhone -- as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. There's even a camera, which means you can avoid being that guy (or gal) at the concert who's turning heads for taking photos with an iPad.
4. Donate To Charity
Several charities accept old phones for donation, though it's worth remembering that these groups likely won't physically give your old phones to people in need. Rather, they work with phone recyclers and sell your donated phones to them. A nonprofit group called Cell Phones for Soldiers will take your "gently used" phone and sell it to recycling company ReCellular. It will then use the proceeds to buy calling cards for soldiers. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence works with another recycling group in a similar manner. About 60 percent of the phones it collects are refurbished and resold. The money goes toward supporting the coalition. The remaining 40 percent of the phones are recycled, according to the group's website. It pays for shipping if you are mailing three or more phones. There are a few more suggestions from New York's Department of Environmental Conservation at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8818.html .
5. Alarm Clock
Do you still use that old radio alarm you bought for your college dorm room in the 20th century? Join the 21st century by turning your old iPhone into an alarm clock. Hide it in a different spot in your bed each night for an added challenge.
6. Sell, Sell, Sell!
Join the eBay hordes and sell your phone for a few hundred bucks if you can. There will likely be a flood of the gadgets soon after people start getting their new phones, so it might make sense to wait a little. A company called Gazelle, meanwhile, will make an offer for your old phone based on its condition, your phone carrier and other information. A 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S on Verizon Wireless, for example, was recently going for $237 if it's in good condition and $90 if it's broken.
7. Trade In At GameStop
The video game retailer offers cash or store credit for old iPhones (along with iPods and iPads). The service is only available in stores and not online. A 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S on Verizon will get you up to $335 in store credit or up to $268 in cash.
8. Stream Music
Stick that baby in a speaker dock, spring for a Pandora subscription ($36 per year) or Spotify ($10 per month) and bam, you have a stereo. Or try SoundCloud. Although it's meant to let you create and share music with people, it's also a good place to listen to DJs you like or discover new ones. TuneIn, meanwhile, will let you listen to online radio stations playing music, sports, news or talk shows.
9. Keep As A Backup In Case You Lose Your Fancy New One.
Nearly one-third of cellphone owners have had their gadgets lost or stolen, according to a recent survey from Pew Internet & Pew Internet & American Life Project.
10. Use As A Camera
At its core, a decommissioned iPhone is a hard drive with a camera. Snap photos with it. No Canon needed. You can also use the iPhone to move photos and other files from one computer to another.
11. Recycle With Apple
Apple Inc.'s own recycling program will give you an Apple gift card if it is determined to have a "monetary value." A 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S with some light scratches but in good working condition was recently estimated at $280. That's higher than Gazelle, but you'll have to spend the money at Apple. The company also accepts broken phones for recycling but you won't get any money for them.