March 14, 2011, 12:29 PM — Apple may have sold more than 1 million of its iPad 2 tablet computers in the first weekend the devices were available in stores.
Analysts were expecting sales to easily top debut-weekend numbers put up by the original iPad last April, when 300,000 were purchased in the first 24 hours alone.
"We would not be surprised to see Apple sell closer to 1 million iPad2s in the opening weekend," said Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland. ...
Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry estimates Apple may have sold three times more iPad 2s in the first two days compared to the previous version.
As a point of reference, sales of the original iPad didn't cross the 1 million until four full weeks after its launch. By the end of the year, Apple had sold more than 15 million iPads.
Not everyone is convinced Apple moved that many iPad 2s over the weekend. Analyst Gene Munster ballparks iPad 2 sales between 400,000 and 500,000, eWeek reports.
That's still better than the first iPad. While there was talk that Verizon's introduction of the iPhone 4 was slightly disappointing, the iPad 2s debut clearly has been a success. One that should worry other tablet manufacturers hoping to slice into Apple's dominant tablet market share, which is anywhere from 80 percent to 90 percent, depending on the source.
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.