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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has announced that combined sales of its iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C smartphones have topped nine million units in just three days. That's almost 35 phones per second.

This could partly be down to the fact that Apple shipped its new devices in 11 markets around the world, including China from day one (albeit without China Mobile - the country's biggest network). Previously, with the iPhone 5 for example, that has been limited to nine markets globally. It still sold over five million units in its opening weekend but not as many, we suspect, as it would have if the Chinese market got it as part of the initial wave.

Whatever the reason, although Apple isn't listing the 5S and 5C sales figures independently the nine million statistic is impressive for just a three day period. We also suspect that, thanks to previous murmurings from the networks about 5C pre-orders under-performing, most of the opening weekend sales were of the iPhone 5S.

It is for that reason we decided to look at a few sales figures for other phones and brands.

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Against the Samsung Galaxy S4

The S4 is easily Samsung's most successful handset so far, yet in comparison it took a whole month to sell 10 million units.

Against the HTC One

Its biggest rival, the HTC One, sold half that in the same amount of time; five million units in 30 days.

Against the Nokia Lumia range

Nokia's Windows Phone handsets took 90 days to sell 7.4 million units. But that's the whole Lumia range combined. And in 90 days. In the Lumia line-up's entire history, since 2011, Nokia has only sold just over twice what Apple has achieved in three days. 

Against all BlackBerry phones

BlackBerry is in trouble, we all know that. It's openly admitted that it's up for sale and has recently announced enormous job losses. At the same time as making 40 per cent of its work force redundant it admitted that it has only sold 3.7 million BlackBerry phones in the last three months, and a majority of those BlackBerry 7 handsets. For BlackBerry to even sell the same number of phones regardless of model it would take more than six months. 

Against the 1st gen iPhone

Apple sold 6.1 million first-generation iPhone units over five quarters. That's 450 days to you and me. 

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 23 September 2013.