One hour after pre-orders went live tonight, Apple.com shifted shipping expectations from one to two weeks due to the overwhelming demand

“One hour after pre-orders went live tonight, Apple.com shifted shipping expectations from one to two weeks due to the overwhelming demand,” the website TechCrunch said.

That compared with 22 hours for the iPhone 4S and 20 hours for the iPhone 4, the website said, adding that the deluge of orders caused technical problems for Apple’s site that those of some carriers.

The website Cnet said some European carriers saw problems keeping up with demand but that Apple’s online stores in Britain, Germany, and France “responded smoothly to preorder requests.”

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The smartphone is being sold initially in nine countries, and will be in 100 by the end of the year, according to Apple.

Some analysts say Apple could sell 10 million in the opening days and 50 million before the end of the year.

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