SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Inc. said Monday that it sold 1 million of its new 3G iPhones over the weekend amid high demand for the device that was greeted with long lines and long activation times around the world.

Apple launched the new version of the iPhone in 21 countries on July 11, most of which were getting access to the iPhone for the first time since the original device went on sale a year ago.

In a statement, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said the new iPhone was “clearly off to a great start,” as it took Apple 74 days to sell 1 million of the first version of the iPhone.

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said Apple’s iPhone sales exceeded his estimates of 425,000 units for the weekend, and that global demand is better than expected.

“This trend will likely continue,” Munster said, as Apple plans to roll out the iPhone in 70 countries over the next few months. Munster estimates Apple will sell 4.1 million iPhones in the current quarter, and sales could reach 45 million units in 2009.

While demand for the iPhone was high, so were the delays that were being reported in activating the devices. Customers complained of long wait times at Apple and AT&T Inc. stores in the United States.


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