Apple said that its iPhone 5 will be made available in “more than 50” additional countries this month, following on from the 47 where it is already available.

The company has to date been serving most of the major markets, although the December update includes a number of important territories – including Brazil, China, Russia and South Korea.

For China, the device will be offered by two operators – China Unicom and China Telecom – although Apple does not yet offer a version for China Mobile, the world’s biggest operator by subscribers.

According to local press reports, China Unicom clocked up 100,000 iPhone 5 pre-orders ahead of an official launch on 14 December. China Telecom is said to have processed 5,000 orders on Sunday when it opened registrations.

While China Unicom and China Telecom use internationally-adopted technologies (GSM/WCDMA and CDMA), China Mobile uses the home grown TD-SCDMA 3G standard, which is not supported by the Apple product.

In addition, the Chinese market is especially tough for international vendors, due to a combination of price-sensitive customers and intense competition from local vendors.

Apple had previously targeted an iPhone 5 launch in 100 markets by the end of 2012, which Tim Cook, its CEO, described as its “fastest rollout ever”.

With the markets announced this week alongside the previously announced distribution, it will have passed this target.

Following its initial launch, Apple said that demand for the latest generation iPhone had “exceeded supply”, with five million sold during the first weekend.

The additional launches – combined with the lucrative Christmas holiday sales period – should enable it to record a bumper quarter for iPhone sales.

The full list of countries seeing iPhone 5 launches this month is: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Botswana, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, Grenada, Guinea, Indonesia, Israel, Ivory Coast,  Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Niger,  Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St.Vincent & the Grenadines, Taiwan, Turkey, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Vietnam.