Vodafone has revealed it sold 50,000 Apple iPhones on the first day the handset was available on the network. 

Vodafone UK chief executive Guy Laurence citied "exceptional demand" for the iPhone despite pricing deals being similar to those offered by O2 and Orange.

There has been some suggestion that Vodafone has struggled to meet that demand, with customers reporting delays in receiving iPhones.

On Thursday last week, the company announced delivery delays to customers in Bristol, Cardiff, Crawley, Croydon, Gloucester, Newbury, Nottingham, Southampton and Stoke.

Vodafone closed down several specific forum topics related to delays stating: "the eForum has no information on individual iPhone customer deliveries", suggesting information on individual orders, be directed to [email protected]

Vodafone customer services also suffered from the bad weather and subsequent staff shortages.

The official Vodafone Twitter feed has also been busy responding to customers.

Late Thursday afternoon Vodafone said: "Please be patient, all iPhone pre-orders should be delivered today/tomorrow unless your area is affected by severe weather. Thanks".

Vodafone is the third network in the UK to stock Apple's smartphone, following the end of O2's exclusive deal with Apple. Orange and Tesco Mobile also offer the handset.

The network announced in December that the iPhone would be available this month.

Prices start from £30 per month, rising to £75 per month depending on the plan. Full pricing details can be found here

In related news, Tesco Mobile recently reported that Apple iPhones handsets were activated every two seconds on Christmas Day by customers who taken a shorter 12-month contract.

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See also: Vodafone next with UK Apple iPhone deal