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Can Apple sell 50,000 UK iPhones in 24 hours?

The iPhone is the hottest gadget in the world at the moment

The Carphone Warehouse expects to sell up to 10,000 Apple iPhones when the handset goes on sale in the UK on 9 November. It's Europe's biggest independent phone retailer and is the only outlet licensed to sell the iPhone alongside O2 and official Apple stores.

Darren Gardner, head of wireless at Carphone Warehouse UK, told reporters that the 800 Carphone Warehouse stores across the UK might sell as many as 10,000 iPhones in the first 24 hours alone. That's not counting those sold in the Apple stores, either.

iPhone fever to hit UK?

Apple, of course, is making no sales predictions at all. But the company did say that, in the first 30 hours of going on sale in the US back in June, it managed to shift 270,000 iPhones.

The USA has a population roughly five times as large as the UK, so if iPhone fever next week reaches the same heights as it did in the US, we might expect around 50,000 iPhones to be sold in the first 30 hours.