Apple Inc. Shares fell Monday after the company said it sold more than 5 million units of the new iPhone 5 in the three days since its launch, fewer than analysts had expected.

Apple shares lost as much as 2.4 per cent but pared some of that to close down $10.21, or 1.46 per cent, at $689.88 US.

Apple could have sold more, but demand exceeded supply for most models.

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White said the phone was sold out at 80 to 85 per cent of the U.S. Apple stores he and his team contacted Sunday evening.

He said he had expected Apple to sell 6 to 6.5 million iPhone 5 units in the first three days.

Delivery times as much as 4 weeks

Online delivery times have stretched to three to four weeks. Apple, in a news release, said the majority of pre-orders have been shipped to customers, but many won’t be shipped until October.

"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.

The iPhone 5 went on sale in Canada, the U.S., Germany, France, Japan and four other countries on Friday.

The phone will go on sale in 22 more countries this Friday and in more than 100 countries by the end of the year.

When it launched the iPhone 4S a year ago, Apple sold 4 million in the first three days.

With files from The Associated Press