updated 12:10 am EDT, Sun April 4, 2010
Estimate has iPad breaking record
An early estimate on Saturday reveals that Apple may have sold between 600,000 and 700,000 iPads on just its first day. He had originally predicted no more than 300,000 shipped but more than doubled his predictions based on long queues at the 5th Avenue Apple store, where about 730 people lined up before the 9:00AM launch. By comparison, the iPhone 3G lineup peaked at 540 in line, indicating a record turnout.
The queue at the store won't be wholly representative of all locations, as smaller stores have historically attracted less attention. Unlike past iPhone releases, though, Apple was accepting pre-orders for over three weeks before the ship date and may have generated far more sales than would be visible at retail. Before Apple cut off further advance sales for launch day, another estimate 240,000 pre-orders through the mail.
If accurate, Munster's estimated sell-through could make the iPad not only Apple's most successful launch of a first-generation device but also make it the most successful e-reader and tablet launch ever. Amazon has never provided concrete numbers, but it may have only sold 500,000 Kindles in all of 2008 and just a fraction of that in the e-paper device's first few weeks on the market. Barnes & Noble has had the luxury of a larger audience for the Nook, but even its dual-screen device might have reached the 500,000 mark only half a year after its debut.
Windows-based tablet PCs have similarly gone without concrete sales data but have usually been considered niche products that have never sold as well as conventional notebooks.