Orange UK on Tuesday started selling Apple's popular iPhone in the country with the first-day sales of 30,000, CNet reported on Wednesday.

The Orange iPhone went on sale at 7 am Tuesday and by 4 pm with 30,000 people had purchased the phone with a contract. The first-day iPhone sales number, according to Orange, is a new record.

Orange is delighted to reveal, that as of 4 PM yesterday, it...sold more than 30,000 iPhones across the UK-smashing what we believe is the previously published first-day sales record for a handset in the UK, said a spokesperson for the carrier.

Orange also claims to have registered roughly 250,000 iPhone presubscriptions, of which only a fraction have been fulfilled.

The iPhone device had been sold exclusively through wireless provider O2 in the U.K. until Tuesday.

O2 has overtaken Vodafone as the largest mobile network in the U.K. largely on surging consumer interest in the iPhone. It has scooped some of the country's highest-paying customers with its exclusive deal with Apple.

As the era of iPhone exclusivity comes to an end in the U.K., Oranges' iPhone deal will help the country's third-largest mobile operator further bolster its presence in the mobile market by attracting new high-end subscribers.