Apple has revealed that it received more than two million pre-orders for its new iPhone 5 smartphone in just 24 hours. It smashed the previous record of one million, set by the iPhone 4S.

The company is now shipping a majority of those orders, with many going to customers straight from the factories in China, but warns that, because of the unheard of volumes, many may not get their new handsets on the release date of 21 September.

Instead, some customers will have to wait until October for their phones to arrive. New pre-orders placed on the online Apple Store are now being listed as two-three weeks for delivery, so those placing orders now will definitely not get their iPhone 5 until then. Unless they queue on day one, of course.

Apple believes that the statistics put paid to suggestions that the iPhone 5 isn't worth an upgrade. And the lack of NFC doesn't seem to have made any difference to sales, as Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, explains: "The customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal.

"iPhone 5 is the most beautiful product we’ve ever made, and we hope customers love it as much as we do."