iPhone 4 Sales Hit 1.7 Million

Sales of Apple’s new iPhone 4 topped 1.7 million in three days, making the release of the new combination iPod and smartphone the company’s most successful product launch to date.

“This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply.”

In comparison, the popular iPad was available for almost two months before selling as many units as the iPhone 4 did in three days.

The first iPhone 4 units began arriving on June 22, two days ahead of the official launch for customers that pre-ordered, and by the morning of the 24th lines outside Apple Stores were several hundred deep. Many customers waited for hours in line to be among the first to get the new iPhone model.

The iPhone 4 splits from the familiar iPhone 3G and 3GS design with a new form factor that’s thinner, a substantially higher resolution display, a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and HD video support, a front-facing camera for video calls, and a built-in gyroscope.

Apple said the new model would be available in black or white, although the white model has been delayed until later in July because of production issues.

Reports of reception issues don’t seem to have hurt sales, either. Some customers have been complaining that holding their iPhone near the bottom of the case causes signal reception to dip and eventually drop out.

Despite the white model delay and the signal reception reports, it looks like Apple’s biggest issue with the new iPhone 4 will be keeping units in stock.