Sales of Apple's new iPhones were on pace to beat the 10 million unit sales it logged during the first weekend of sales last year, the company said today.

Apple did not disclose the specific number of pre-orders it received. 

Analysts had expected the company to log about 4.5 million pre-orders during the first 24 hours, in comparison with 4 million during the first day last year.

The company said demand for the iPhone 6S Plus, the larger phone, exceeded its forecasts for the pre-order period. 

The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will begin shipping this month.

The phones feature improved cameras and 3D touch, a display technology that responds differently depending on how hard users press their screens. 

Analysts said the pre-orders suggested a strong trajectory for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

They said they were especially encouraged by the response in China, where Apple's website showed particularly long wait times for the phones. 

The company's stock has sunk in recent weeks on concerns about how it will fare amid the downturn in the Chinese economy. 

Last week Apple announced the phones, as well as a new TV set-top box that responds to voice commands, but the new products underwhelmed many social media commentators and investors. 

The new phones come a year after Apple rolled out iPhones with larger screens, touching off a sales frenzy in which revenue in the latest quarter increased 32.5% from a year earlier.