Apple shares close at new high on iPhone 5 pre-orders

Apple shares closed at a record high of almost $700 as the firm received two million pre-orders for its newly unveiled iPhone 5.

Most will be delivered to customers later this week, but due to high demand, some will not receive their new handsets until October, Apple said.

The latest model - taller, lighter and 4G-enabled - was launched in San Francisco last week.

Apple shares ended $8.50 higher at $699.78, a gain of 1.23% on the day.

Its shares have risen more than 70% since the start of the year.

"The customer response has been phenomenal," said Philip Schiller from Apple.

The previous record for pre-orders was for the iPhone 4S, which got one million in the first 24 hours, compared with the relatively modest 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4.

The iPhone 5 handsets, which cost up to £699 each, will be available to buy in the UK from 08:00 BST on Friday.

Sales of iPhones are crucial to Apple's fortunes, accounting for more than half its total net sales, according to the firm's most recent earnings report.

Some analysts estimate that Apple could sell up to 10 million iPhone 5s by the end of the month, and 50-60 million by the end of the year.

However, concerns have been expressed as to whether Apple will be able to meet the demand in the coming months, delaying the delivery of handsets.

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