300,000 iPads Sold on Saturday? Not Too Shabby, But…

Apple said Monday that it had sold over 300,000 iPads on Saturday, which could be taken as a good sign of the device’s potential success. One big wildcard here–these sales also include not only pre-orders for the Wi-Fi-only iPad but also deliveries to the company’s retail partners as well. In other words, not every one of those 300,000 iPads may be in the hands of a consumer yet. On the other hand, the figure doesn’t include pre-orders for the 3G iPad which is due out late this month.

Apple’s new book store did well too, with a quarter million books downloaded on Saturday, and CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement that new iPad owners were downloading an average of about one book and three applications within hours of unpacking the device. All in all, iPad’s launch numbers were very similar to the launch of the initial iPhone.

Some analysts had gone way overboard in their predictions, with Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster being the most overly aggressive with projected sales of 650,000+ in the first 24 hours. Much of this probably had to do with the overwhelming hype surrounding the device, which arguably was unwarranted in most cases. Lines for the iPad, as described by our own Harry McCracken, were in most cases much smaller than that for the first iPhone.

The real test for the viability of this device remains in these weeks following the launch. Will the device continue to sell after the initial flurry of activity? Will we see another spike in purchasing when the WiFi+3G model releases late this month? It’s hard to say. Price will likely play a large part in how this does, and the company has not been shy to say publicly it will tweak prices to meet its sales goals.

The answer will come when we get a better look at the demographics of its buyers. If its just the techie/Apple faithful/Gotta-have-it crowd, the iPad could be Apple’s next Cube. However, if Ma and Pa begin snagging their own iPads, then we know Apple’s onto something.

As much as I can’t wait to get one myself, I’m still undecided here on how I think it will do. It’s a big gamble for Apple, one I’m sure they’ll hope will pay off.


6 comments

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  1. Pete April 5, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    “Apple said Monday that it had sold over 300,000 iPads on Saturday, which could be taken as a good sign of the device’s potential success.”

    You should’ve checked the actual source instead of relying on another media outlet for your information. According to Apple’s press release:

    Apple today announced that it sold over 300,000 iPads in the US as of midnight Saturday, April 3. These sales included deliveries of pre-ordered iPads to customers, deliveries to channel partners and sales at Apple Retail Stores.

  2. Ed Oswald April 5, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Did you read the following line?

  3. davezatz April 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Do these analysts with their wild predictions not based in reality ever get penalized, docked pay, fewer press citations, fired, etc? It’s a little bit maddening.

  4. sfmitch April 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    I was in the Apple store (Corte Madera, CA) today and iPads were flying out the door.

    I think the iPad will live or die by how happy people are with it. The iPhone benefitted initially from it coming from Apple and that might explain initial sales. Its continued success is based on the fact that people really like their iPhones and recommend them. The iPhone faced a pretty steep uphill battle and did very well.

  5. tom b April 5, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    @davezatz: Actually, Munster usually has a very good track record.

    @sfmitch: “I think the iPad will live or die by how happy people are with it.”

    Yup. I think it will “go viral”, in time. Word of mouth.

    The iPad took lots of lumps from whiny Android fanbois on the web early on. People concerned that Apple (and not Google?) is some sinister force trying to take over the planet. And then there’s the hate from Flash content creators….

  6. Hamranhansenhansen April 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    > also deliveries to the company’s retail partners as well.

    I think Best Buy is the only retail partner so far, and they got only 15 units each, of which 4 were for display units. My understanding is that all the Best Buys sold out.

    > Lines for the iPad, as described by our own Harry McCracken,
    > were in most cases much smaller than that for the first iPhone.

    There were no preorders of the first iPhone. The reason there are preorders now is to avoid what happened with the iPhone.

    > 650,000

    If you add in the 3G preorders, he was right.

    There is also a 2 per customer limit on iPad, and no institutional or educational sales, yet, even though many organizations have already announced they will make large purchases.

    I think these are phenomenal sales, even without the qualifiers, but when you consider this was only half the launch, with limited supply, it was a great day for Apple.

    Nexus One has been out for many months and has not sold 300,000 yet.