Apple Inc.\'s new smartphone, the iPhone 5, has been warmly received in China\'s mainland, with more than 2 million of the handsets sold in the company\'s second-largest market in the three days following the product\'s launch. \"Customer response to the iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with our best first weekend sales ever in China,\" Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement issued on Monday. \"China is a very important market for us and customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products,\" he added, following Friday\'s launch of the iPhone 5 on the Chinese mainland. Customers can order the latest iPhone through Apple\'s online store and its retail outlets, and also buy it from resellers and stores of operator partners China Unicom and China Telecom. The highly anticipated debut, three months later than the product\'s initial launch in nine countries and regions, is widely expected to boost Apple\'s sales in the fourth quarter as well as its share price. Apple\'s shares rose from 509.79 U.S. dollars on Friday to 518.83 U.S. dollars on Monday on the Nasdaq. They had been on a downward trend in December, dropping from 586.19 U.S. dollars on Dec. 3 to a one-month low of 509.79 U.S. dollars on Dec. 14.