Lifted by record iPhone sales, shares of Apple broke the $700 barrier on Monday in after-hours trading.
Apple said preorders for the iPhone 5 --more than 2 million in the first 24 hours -- were more than double thosefor the iPhone 4S.
"IPhone 5 pre-orders haveshattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S, and the customerresponse to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal," said a statement from PhilipSchiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
Sharesof Apple rose 1.2% to $699.78 in regular trading and touched $700.05after the closing bell. Apple's stock is up 6% since the day before thecompany unveiled its latest products.
Apple onWednesday took the wraps off its iPhone 5 and showed off more than 200new features in its upcoming iOS 6 operating system. The company showedoff new features to come in its Siri voice search as well as its mapstechnology that will displace Google Maps.
Despiteadvances from Samsung, the world's most valuable company faces what hasbecome a ritual retail rush from the Apple faithful. People arealready lining up outside Manhattan's Fifth Avenue Apple Store to buy aniPhone 5 when it goes on sale Friday. Those who pre-ordered the newphone may have a two-week wait for their online purchase to arrive asdemand exceeds current supply.
Some industryanalysts are adjusting higher their forecasts for iPhone 5 sales. "Giventhe record pre-orders, we believe Apple could ship 9 million to 10million iPhone 5 models by Sept. 29, or the last day of fiscal 2012,vs. our initial 6 million estimate," says Canaccord Genuity technologyanalyst Michael Walkley. Canaccord has a $797 price target on the stock.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicts sales of the iPhone 5 could reach as many as 10 million in the first week.
OnFriday, the iPhone 5 will become available in the U.S., U.K., Canada,France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. On Sept. 28,Apple will launch in 22 additional countries and the phone will beavailable in 100 countries by the end of the year.