Sales of the iPad take off as three million sold in 80 days
Apple Inc said it has sold three million iPads in the 80 days since the device went on sale in the US, adding to evidence that chief executive officer Steve Jobs is building demand for tablet-style computers.
Software developers have created more than 11,000 applications for the iPad since its April 3 debut, Apple also said yesterday, in a statement issued from its Cupertino, California base.
The iPad has emerged as the first tablet computer with mainstream appeal, carving out a new product category between smartphones and notebook computers. The results led many analysts to increase their sales targets for the iPad, signaling that Apple is succeeding where predecessors such as Microsoft have faltered.
"That's a huge number -- it's amazing," said Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Brothers LP in San Francisco, who raised his 2010 sales estimate 21pc to 9.7 million units. "People continuously underestimate how well this product is selling."
Apple rose $4.49, or 1.7pc, to $274.66 in New York on the Nasdaq stock market trading. The shares had already gained 28pc this year before yesterday.
The iPad lets users read digital books, surf the web, watch videos and play games.
Microsoft has tried for more than a decade to build a market for tablet computers.
Abhey Lamba, an analyst with ISI Group in New York, raised his iPad sales estimate yesterday by 27pc. He expects Apple to sell 6.6 million units this fiscal year ending in September, up from a previous prediction of 5.2 million. The iPod took two and a half years to sell three million units, while the iPhone took three quarters, Lamba said in an email.
Maynard Um, an analyst at UBS AG in New York, boosted his fiscal 2010 projection by 42pc to 6.8 million units.
For the calendar year, Standard & Poor's analyst Clyde Montevirgen in New York increased his estimate to nine million iPads, up 13pc.
The rate of sales is also increasing, according to Colin Gillis, senior analyst with BGC Partners LP in New York. Apple sold 45,500 iPads a day from May 31 to June 21, up from 33,000 a day.
The company is due to release the next iteration of its iPhone on Thursday. Apple had more than 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4, overloading the company's computer system and leading carrier AT&T Inc to suspend sales before this week's debut.