Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock the whole day, you probably know that iPhone 5 shipping times have dramatically been pushed back to up to 2-3 weeks, both on the online Apple store and at most carriers – just a mere hour or two after Cupertino with its partners began processing orders. Commenting on the situation, a spokesperson for the company acknowledged pent-up demand for the device, choosing interesting wording from the company’s familiarly colloquial yet effective vocabulary…

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told John Paczkowski of AllThingsD via email that the company was taken aback by strong response to its new handset:

Pre-orders for iPhone 5 have been incredible. We’ve been completely blown away by the customer response.

So much about ‘disappointing’ iPhone 5 launch.

Off topic: ‘blown away’ gets used a lot in Apple executives’ vocabulary (I’m guilty of this, too).

I still remember the iPhone 4S introduction last October when iOS boss Scott Forstall showed Jobsian knack for grammatically incorrect hyperbole.

He was demoing Siri and at one point asked her, “Who are you?”, to which Siri replied, “I am a humble personal assistant”.

Forstall then smiled at the audience, saying “that is absolutely blow-away”.

I counted two occurrences of the “blow away” variants in Apple’s iPhone 4 promo clip.

In fact, Forstall gets so often ‘blown away’ that he cannot find himself.

Joking aside, we do not know how many units Apple set aside for pre-orders.

The company usually keeps up to two weeks worth of iPhone inventory in the channel.

As analyst are expecting sales of up to ten million iPhone 5 devices by the end of September (when Apple’s fiscal year 2012 ends), the company must have allocated 2-3 million units for pre-orders and 7-8 million for launch day (which is next Friday, September 21, beginning at 8am local time at Apple’s retail stores and via AT&T, Sprint and Verizon).

It’s just my estimate and I could be easily wrong, of course.

Something tells me Apple will want to brag about launch day sales via a press release.

What do you think?

How many iPhone 5 units were available for pre-orders worldwide?