It seems pre-orders for the iPhone on Vodafone have been a success as the operator has revealed it will shift 50,000 iPhones on the device's debut day on the network.

How many of that 50,000 are the tens of thousands of people we know to be using iPhones unlocked on Vodafone's UK network is not known, but presumably those buying handsets are new customers, while others will now be able to take out official Vodafone iPhone contracts for their existing handsets.

In a statement Vodafone says its CEO, Guy Laurence, "confirmed that it would be delivering over 50,000 iPhones to customers on its first day of selling the device. He said the main reason for the exceptional demand was customers wanting to use the phone on its outstanding network".

Some iPhone pre-orderers will be disappointed though, as it seems Vodafone is having some problems in getting the handsets delivered, with the recent snowy and icy conditions in the UK meaning customers in certain areas will see delays.

Somewhat ironically, those in Newbury - Vodafone's hometown where its headquarters is based - is one area due to see delivery delays. "Local roads are treacherous and most villages and outlying areas remain inaccessible", says Vodafone on its eForum.

However, the 50,000 - whether or not delivered immediately - beats Orange's first day sales of the iPhone revealed to be 30,000 when the device broke its O2 exclusivity back in November last year. At the time Orange said the figure broke first day sales records for a phone in the UK, meaning that the Vodafone iPhone must have now broken that record.

To put the 50,000 figure in topical perspective, it's been estimated that Google's Nexus One phone - available to the US, UK, Hong Kong and Singapore, achieved sales figures of 20,000 in its first week.