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iPhone 4 does well in first week; over 1.5 million sold

iPhone 4 has created a lot of interest with consumers. Over 1.5 million iPhones have been sold, according to Apple.

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iPhone 4 has enjoyed a strong first week in sales, with over 1.5 million sold. In this June 23 photo, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, holds an iPhone 4 with Apple Chairman and CEO Steve Jobs at Apple Inc. in Cupertino, Calif.

AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmtiry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service

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Apple Inc had sold 1.7 million units of the iPhone 4 by Saturday June 26, its most successful product launch yet, the company said on Monday.

Sales of the touchscreen smartphone, which competes with devices from Nokia, Research In Motion and Motorola, surpassed some analysts' expectations, as well as those of Apple itself, which has been having trouble keeping up with demand.

In a statement, Chief Executive Steve Jobs apologized to "customers who were turned away" because the company did not have enough supplies of the iPhone 4.

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Hudson Square Research analyst Daniel Ernst said the 1.7 million number likely included pre-orders, which began on June 15. He said the phone appeared to have sold out in some stores this weekend in New York, Connecticut and Maryland, after the official launch on June 24.

Ernst said his rough estimate was for sales well north of one million. "This is closer to two million so it's above our expectations," he said. "No single smartphone model has been this successful."

Apple started selling the phone online on June 15, when both Apple and AT&T Inc's websites faltered amid heavy demand, causing delays to many customer orders. AT&T is the exclusive U.S. service provider for the iPhone.

The iPhone, which boasts video chat and a longer battery life, launched last week with fans lining up outside stores overnight by the hundreds.

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AT&T's bigger rival Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, is countering iPhone by heavily promoting phones based on Android software from Google Inc.

Shares in Apple were down $1.20 at $265.50 in morning trade on Nasdaq. AT&T shares were up 10 cents at $24.91 on New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Derek Caney)

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