Apple said it sold nine million new iPhone 5S and 5C handsets in the first three days after the smartphones' release, about four million more than the previous iPhone model sold when it was launched.

The new models went on sale worldwide Friday, and stock was quickly depleted. The company said in a statement that demand for the iPhone 5S exceeded initial supplies, and that many online orders will have to be shipped in the coming  weeks.

Apple shares were up by six per cent to $496.10 US at the opening of markets Monday and were trading at around $487 on the Nasdaq by late morning, up four per cent from Friday's close.

In the usual pre-launch frenzy, Apple fans around the world camped out overnight outside Apple stores and stood for hours in long lines, including outside the Eaton Centre in Toronto, in order to be among the first people to get their hands on the iPhones.

"It's a great number," said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis of the sales figures. "We have been saying they will be selling every 5S they can make and it looks like that is the case."

Most successful launch to date

When it released its last iPhone, the iPhone 5, last September, Apple sold about five million units in the initial three days after the launch. This launch exceeds that and is Apple's most successful smartphone launch to date.

Apple did not separate out the sales figures for the two models that when on sale Friday. The 5S is the pricier of the two, retailing for $719 to $919 Cdn without a contract in Canada depending on whether it's the 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB version. With a two-year wireless plan, it sells for around $230 to $440.

The 5S model features Apple's new biometric technology Touch ID, which allows users to unlock their phones by scanning their  fingerprint. 

The cheaper 5C sells for $599 Cdn for the 16 GB version or $719 for the 32 GB model. With a wireless plan, customers will pay around $130 or $230. 

Both models function on Apple's revamped operating system iOS 7.

It's the first time that Apple has released two smartphone models at the same time.

The company sold a total of 125 million iPhones last fiscal year. Its sales for that year were $156.5 billion US and its net income was $41.7 billion.

This year, Apple said in a regulatory filing, it expects total revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter to be near the high end of the previously estimated range of $34 billion to $37 billion. Analysts' average forecast is $36.10 billion, according to the Reuters news agency.

With files from Reuters