iPad sales on target as Apple shifts over 300,000
Apple has reported sales of more than 300,000 iPads on the tablet computer's first day in stores, surpassing some forecasts, but leaving questions about whether the product can be its next big hit.
Shares of Apple were nearly unchanged in early trading after the stock last week repeatedly hit record highs in anticipation of the iPad's weekend launch.
The company said first-day sales included deliveries of pre-ordered iPads to customers, deliveries to channel partners and sales at Apple retail stores.
A number of US stores were closed for the Easter holiday, but some did remain open, which suggests that total weekend figures will be higher.
Several analysts had expected the company to sell 250,000 to 350,000 units on the opening weekend.
The big question is whether brisk sales are sustainable, or whether last weekend's crowds consisted primarily of hardcore Apple fans and early adopters.
Wall Street analysts expect iPad sales to reach five million units in the first 12 months.
At least four brokerages raised their share-price targets and full-year earnings estimates for Apple following the debut of the highly anticipated mobile touchscreen computer that lets users watch video, read newspapers and search the web.
For the weekend, Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu expected sales of 250,000 to 300,000 units. Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes estimated that Apple sold about 400,000 iPads. (Reuters)