iPhone 7 plus sells out before hitting stores

Only limited quantities of the smaller phone will be in Apple shops around the world on Friday...

Initial stock of Apple's 7 Plus has sold out as fanatics are already forming queues at Apple stores around the world to buy the new flagship model when it goes on general release on Friday.

The smaller iPhone 7 has also sold out in the new 'jet black' finish.

"We sincerely appreciate our customers’ patience as we work hard to get the new iPhone into the hands of everyone who wants one as quickly as possible," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.

"We couldn't be happier with the initial response to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and we are looking forward to beginning sales through our retail stores and partners around the world," the company added.

Only limited quantities of the smaller phones in all finishes apart from black will be in stores on Friday.

In a break with tradition, the company will not publish first-week sale figures for the device as Apple says that the numbers are not an accurate reflection of supply and demand.

This has caused concerns for investors, as in the past the company has released first-week sale figures only when the numbers are exceptionally positive (this has been the case with all previous iPhone launches).

There have been fears that demand for the headphone jack-less new phone may suffer a hangover from the success of the iPhone 6, as users may not feel the need for an immediate upgrade.