According to one analyst, Apple has blown past all previous launch-day records



Click to enlarge. Source: Oppenheimer

“Guessing launch day iPhone sales,” writes Oppenheimer’s Yair Reiner in a note to clients issued Friday, ‘has become something of a national sport, a bit like guessing whether Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow.”

But that doesn’t stop him from playing the game. Reiner’s guess: 1.5 million, one and a half as many iPhones as Apple AAPL sold in three days in 2009 and 2008.

Here’s his math:

  • 600,000 pre-ordered in the U.S.
  • plus 100,000 non- reserved units sold day of at Apple stores (average 500 per store)
  • plus 50,000 sold into Best Buy (~45 per store, according to our checks).
  • Then multiply by two for international.

We’ll see.

Like Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster (see here), Reiner surveyed hundreds of buyers Thursday (714 vs. Munster’s 608) and got similar results:

  • 76% upgrades, on average after 14.7 months;
  • 14% planned to buy an iPad in the next three months;
  • 21% were new to AT&T T , 41% of those coming from T-Mobile DT and 28% from Verizon VZ .

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]