It's official: Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone 5 is a record-breaking hit.

Carrier AT&T (NYSE: T) reported that Apple's newest smartphone broke records over the weekend as it sold faster than any previous iPhone for AT&T. Apple followed up today announcing that pre-orders exceeded 2 million individual sales within the first 24 hours of release. The previous iPhone, the 4S, tallied more than 1 million total pre-orders during its first day.

Demand for the iPhone 5 was more than Apple was ready for, forcing deliveries of some pre-orders into next month. AT&T and competitors Verizon and Sprint all recorded delays in iPhone shipping. AT&T reported that the product would be available in stores Friday. It didn't say how many were sold..

Analysts forecast between 6 million and 10 million iPhones to sell in the first week of orders; 49 million units are expected to sell in the fourth quarter. A PopSci roundup shows lofty estimates covering a grand total of 250 million iPhone 5 sales during the product's lifetime adding up to $144 billion in total revenues.