Saturday, March 13, 2010

First-day iPad sales estimated at 120K units

According to FORTUNE Magazine and the AAPL Sanity Board at Investor Village, Apple sold 120,000 iPads through the online Apple Store yesterday. This is obviously an estimate (since Apple hasn't released numbers) and doesn't count orders placed by shoppers in person at Apple's physical locations. It also doesn't count corporate and institutional sales (which, given Apple's aggressive educational pricing, rumored to be $230 for the 16GB WiFi iPad, are likely to be substantial.) Given that somewhere between 300,000 and one million iPads are expected to be ready for shipment by the end of the month, it's likely that there will be a sell-out, at least for the month of April.

First-day sales (especially pre-sales) should never be used as an estimate of long-term sales potential, especially with a company like Apple that has a big community of dedicated users. However, what surprises me is the number of people who have written articles and blog posts questioning the iPad that are turning around and buying them. I thought that there would be more price resistance, and I'll be very interested to see the distribution of sales for the three memory capacities and WiFi vs. 3G. The survey that the AAPL Sanity Board did on the distribution of orders by model covered only 99 orders for 110 units and is too small to be representative.

In any event, there are a lot of people at Apple who are very happy right now.
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