updated 01:55 pm EST, Sat March 13, 2010
iPad may be fastest selling e-reader, tablet
Apple may have moved nearly 120,000 iPads in just its first day of pre-orders, an estimate by private analysts at the AAPL Sanity board suggests. After excluding the 16,500 average orders on a given day, the collective has used the intervals between order numbers over 19.5 hours to estimate that about 119,987 iPads should have sold during that period. The statistic doesn't include those who simply reserved a unit in-store and potentially puts the actual launch day tally considerably higher.
The statistics also provide some possible insight into preferences for particular models. Apple's emphasis on price has had relatively little effect as the 99 orders used as the sample were equally divided between 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. The 3G version was noticeably less popular as only 31 percent of pre-orders chose that version, although its late April release date may hide actual demand as many could be holding off on 3G iPad purchases with over a month to wait.
At an average of 1.1 tablets bought per customer, few had a reason to test the two-per-order limit.
While Apple is unlikely to verify the data, the predictions if accurate could make the iPad the most successful e-book reader launch to date. Amazon has never publicly detailed the number of Kindles sold so far, but at least one analyst guess had Amazon selling just 500,000 Kindles throughout all of 2008, leaving the majority of its sales to 2009. Barnes & Noble has always claimed it's had strong sales for the Nook but has also declined to provide numbers and is believed to have been hit by supply shortages as much as by demand.
It may also make the Apple device the most successful larger tablet-sized device to date. System builders have been offering tablet PCs based on Windows since 2002, but the category has rarely expanded beyond business computers meant for doctors, warehouse workers and others that have specific needs.