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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has confirmed that it has already sold 4 million iPhone 6 smartphones in the first 24 hours and that's ahead of its official launch on Friday in the US, UK, and elsewhere around the world. 

The phone, which was launched to huge fanfare in Cupertino last week, brings with it a new design, and new features, changing the shape and increasing the screen size drastically compared to the iPhone 5S.  

"iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Pre-orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus set a new record for Apple, and we can't wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday."

The high sales is also down to the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus, a first for the company, which delivers an even bigger screen and is aimed at those who want something more than a phone, but not as much as a tablet. 

Apple has already said that it has sold out of day one stock on its website, with customers ordering online already being told that they won't get their order delivered until October. Meanwhile people have already started to queue in New York and London for the new smartphone. 

Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus goes on sale on the 19 September. You should read our extensive hands-on previews of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus while you wait. 

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK beginning this Friday, September 19 and in more than 20 additional countries beginning on Friday, September 26 including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.

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Writing by Stuart Miles.