Apple says China iPhone 5 sales in first weekend top 2 million

Apple Inc sold more than 2 million of its new iPhone 5 in China during the three days after its launch there on Friday, marking China's best-selling iPhone rollout ever, the company said late on Sunday.

"Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China," Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a statement.

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Apple's latest iPhone, which offers a larger 4-inch screen and 4G capability, was launched in the United States and 30 other countries in September, when the company sold more than 5 million of the devices in the first three days.

The device's highly anticipated release in China, Apple's second-biggest market, failed to stop the recent share slide of the world's most valuable technology company, and analysts said Apple's longer-term China hopes may hinge on a partnership with China Mobile Ltd, the country's top telecoms carrier.