Given that Apple booked two million pre-orders in the first 24 hours after the gates were opened it was pretty obvious that the the iPhone 5 was going to rocket off the shelves at least as quickly as its predecessors.
Sales began on September 21 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US.
According to Apple officials, the majority of pre-orders were met, but the remainder will be shipped next month.
"Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.
"While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone."
Apple has been criticised in some quarters for engineering an artificial shortage of the iPhone 5, but there are limits to even the massive production capacities of China's electronics factories.
Furthermore, the modern obsession with Just In Time production and distribution, with Apple's attempts to keep new products as secret as possible right up until launch, and the public expectation of delivery reasonably soon after launch all work against having sufficient stock to meet the initial demand.
The company also reported that more than 100 million devices have been updated to iOS 6.