Apple has beat analyst expectations for the launch of its iPhone 3G S, according to a recent press statement, in which CEO Steve Jobs announced more than one million units were sold globally during the weekend. To put that number into perspective, it took Apple 74 days, or approximately two and a half months, to sell its first million iPhone back in 2007, while last year’s iPhone 3G launch also saw a million devices moved in just the first three days.

Lines may not have been as long as last year, but Apple and AT&T’s pre-sales strategy was certainly a success. The companies doubled sales expectations of 500,000 units for the opening weekend and outshined Palm’s much-hyped launch of the Pre smartphone – which is still off to a solid start with about 100,000 units sold in the U.S. alone. In addition, Apple said that in the five days since it debuted, the iPhone OS 3.0 has been downloaded by more than 6 million customers.

The announcement also represents the first public comment from Apple’s Steve Jobs in a while. The executive has been on a leave of absence since January to deal with lingering health issues, and may have received a liver transplant two months ago, if recent reports are to be believed.