On First Day, Apple Sells 300,000 iPads

Ashesh Shah
April 6, 2010
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Apple said on Monday that it had sold more than 300,000 iPads on the device’s first day on the market, a figure that included preorders. That met the expectations of financial analysts who were keeping tabs on the release of the company’s highly anticipated tablet computer.

“It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world,” said Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, in a statement. “It’s going to be a game changer.”

Because Apple is hoping to popularize a new kind of computing device, one that combines elements of a laptop and smartphone, acceptance among consumers is likely to be slower than with previous Apple devices, said Michael Abramsky, an analyst with RBC Capital.

“This device is the leading edge in a market that is still being created, so lots of folks are still trying to figure out the relevance of the iPad to them,” he said. “But given that not everyone understands what it does yet, it’s a pretty good launch at the end of the day.”

Some buyers may be waiting for future versions of the iPad, perhaps with a camera or other new features, Mr. Abramsky said. His firm had been expecting Apple to sell 300,000 to 400,000 iPads over the whole weekend.

The version of the iPad that went on sale Saturday can connect to the Internet only via a Wi-Fi connection, leading analysts to wonder whether some consumers are waiting for the 3G version, which will work over a cellphone network.

“This is still the warm-ups,” said Craig Moffett, a senior analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Company. “The big unanswered question that remains is how many people are waiting for the 3G model to be released before committing to buy.”

Apple has said it plans to release 3G iPads this month, which will cost $629 to $829 depending on storage size.

Apple also said iPad users had downloaded more than one million apps from the company’s App Store and more than 250,000 electronic books from its iBookstore on Saturday. Some of the most popular applications include a word processing application made by Apple called Pages, an air-traffic control game called Flight Control, and National Public Radio’s application.

Mr. Abramsky said he expected many more apps to follow. “We’re seeing just the scratching of the surface,” he said. “We have the medium first and then the media.”

Apple sent invitations to journalists on Monday for a preview of the next version of the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad, to be held Thursday at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Shares in Apple rose 1 percent to close at $238.49.

Resource:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/technology/06ipad.html

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