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.

Fool contributor Dan Carroll holds no positions in the stocks mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.