The Apple iPad went on pre-sale on 12 March, and within six hours it had sold over 91,000 iPads, according to an analyst. It was estimated that each hour approximately 25,000 units were being sold. Most of the sales were of the WiFi only version, with fewer sales of the WiFi and 3G versions.
Although the numbers for the pre-order were staggeringly high on Friday, they significantly dropped afterwards. Figures show that pre-orders went from 25,000 per hour to about 1,000 per hour on Saturday and Sunday. These figures do not include the orders made in Apple Stores.
Based on the amount of iPads sold in the first six hours, analysts have predicted that Apple will sell five million iPads in the first year.
Daniel Tello, an analyst blogger, tracked order numbers from volunteers to find the figures of sales on the Saturday and Sunday, compared to the Friday. Tello, who is also known as Deagol (his blogger name) told Fortune: “My best guess, although very tentative given the early stage and few data we have so far, would be that they hit the one million unit milestone by the second week after it ships, but this is a very speculative guesstimate based on just a weekend of pre-orders.”
Tello calculated these figures by tracking 120 volunteer order numbers, then calculated the difference between normal sales on the online Apple store, compared to the order numbers he had been given. According to his figures, 150,000 iPads were sold in the 60 hours after the pre-ordering had been available.
Tello’s figures also showed that there was no real preference for the three flash drive configurations: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, although there was the slightest tip towards the 64GB iPad. Order data did show a large difference between the amount of people buying the WiFi only version, and the WiFi and 3G versions, with only 31 per cent of customers buying the combined version.
Apple is still expected to see high revenue figures from sales of the iPad. “Apple has been able to generate in excess of $75 million (£50 million) in revenue in one day on a product that 99.9 per cent of purchasers haven’t touched or for that matter, even seen in person,” explains Victor Castroll, an analyst for Valcent Financial Group who monitored the sales for Investor Village. “And, we’re still three weeks away from shipping. That is amazing.”
However Greg Sterling, who is a principle analyst for Sterling Market Intelligence thinks it’s too early to deem the iPad a success for Apple. He told StrategyEye “With orders falling during the course of the weekend this seems like an initial surge from eager buyers. Many potential buyers are still holding off, either taking a wait and see approach or not yet convinced that this is a necessary device. But the iPhone had a similar beginning. The question arises: are these the hungry early adopters and Apple ‘fanboys’ or is this an indication of demand that will make the iPod another huge hit for Apple?”
Although there are many different views about whether or not the iPad is going to be as successful as it seemed on the first day, people continue to pre-order the iPad.