The iPhone 5, which features a bigger screen, faster chip and a lighter body, sold 2 million units in first-day orders, more than double a record set by the previous model, Apple said.

Since its 2007 debut, the device has become Apple's top-selling product, accounting for about two-thirds of profit. Apple surpassed Exxon Mobil to become the biggest company in the world by market capitalization last year after overtaking Microsoft as the most valuable technology provider in 2010.

"It leaves me in awe," said Rex Ishibashi, chief executive officer of Callaway Digital Arts, which develops games for the iPhone. "It's reflective of how important these devices and these digital technologies have become in our lives."

Before his death in October, co-founder Steve Jobs mastered a strategy of pushing Apple beyond its core business of selling computers into new markets, including digital music and mobile phones.