John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Good Luck Finding an iPad 2

Apple sold 300,000 first-generation iPads in the device’s first 24 hours of availability last April. And it’s a safe bet that the iPad 2 sold just as well, if not better. Certainly, all the early indications are there: Record lines at many Apple Stores; sell-outs at the company’s retail partners; online ship dates that quickly slipped from two to three days to two to three weeks; and supplies largely depleted by Saturday.

By weekend’s end, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster and his team were unable to find a single iPad 2 available for walk-in purchase at any of the retail outlets they called (Apple Stores, Best Buy, etc.), leading Munster to conclude that Apple likely sold as many iPad 2s in its first day at market as its predecessor sold in its first week.

“Given extended lead times at the online store and sold out retail stores, we believe iPad 2 sales exceeded Apple’s initial expectations,” Munster said in a research note Sunday. “We continue to believe that Apple sold between 400,000 and 500,000 iPad 2s over the weekend (vs. 300,000 original iPads over launch weekend). And we note that the weekend number for iPad 2 is essentially a launch day total because stock was so quickly depleted and not replenished over the weekend. iPads are sold out across virtually all channels.”

Munster figures Apple will sell 5.5 million iPads this quarter, easily topping the 3.27 million the company sold during the original iPad’s debut quarter last year. And he describes that estimate as “conservative.” More bullish predictions–the one offered up by Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White last Friday, for example–put first weekend iPad 2 sales at one million. “Last year, Apple sold over 300,000 iPads during the first day of availability on April 3 and 1 million iPads were sold in the first 28 days,” White explained. “This year, we would not be surprised if Apple sells up to 1 million units of the iPad 2 over the weekend, while the iPad 2 launch begins in 26 other countries on March 25. This takes into account a broader distribution network versus the iPad 1 launch, upgrades to iPad 2 and new tablet buyers coming into the market.”

Apple hasn’t yet released early sales figures for the iPad 2, though I imagine we’ll see some soon–particularly if they’re as impressive as they clearly seem to be. In the meantime, the company is saying only that “demand for the next generation iPad 2 has been amazing.”

[Image credit: Boston Tweet]

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