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Verizon iPhone Sales Topped 500K

NEW YORK, ( TheStreet) -- Verizon's (VZ) record sales of the Apple (AAPL) iPhone may have exceeded half a million phones on the first day.

After breaking its previous phone sales record in the first two hours of pre-orders, Verizon continued to take orders for 15 more hours until 8:10 p.m. ET, wrote JPMorgan analyst Phil Cusick in a note Monday. Based on the pace of sales, Cusick estimated that more than 500,000 Verizon iPhones were sold on day one.
Verizon and Apple announce the Verizon iPhone in January.

On Friday, Verizon said sales of the Verizon iPhone crushed its previous one-day sales record. Cusick wrote that that record was 100,000 Motorola (MMI) Droids, a Google (GOOG) Android-powered phone that first sold on Nov. 6, 2009.

He estimated that the first sample of Verizon iPhone demand puts the phone on track to exceed the Droid's debut performance.

Verizon and Apple will start taking iPhone 4 pre-orders again at 3 a.m. ET Wednesday, and stores will open early Thursday to kick off the retail Verizon iPhone sales. Some customers who ordered the Verizon iPhone last week may be receiving the device as early as today, according to company notifications.

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Using the original Droid sales as a guide, Cusick estimated that the Verizon iPhone will be on pace to beat the Droid's 200,000 mark on the first weekend and its 300,000 mark on the first week. As Cusick pointed out, this sales rate would easily beat the 1.6 million Droids sold mark for the fourth quarter of 2009.

Analysts expect Apple to sell 11 million Verizon iPhones this year, a number that includes the iPhone 5, which is expected to be launched in July.

Apple shares, which briefly hit yet another all-time high Monday of $352, were trading up $6.17, or 1.78% at $352.62 Monday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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