iPad Sales Larger than Expected after Opening Weekend

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Photo from svartling via Flickr

Photo from svartling via Flickr

Apple iPad sales were expected to be nearly 300,000, including pre-orders. After the weekend, some analysts expect actual sales to be more than double that number.

While Apple hasn’t offered any official iPad sales results, the sales are expected to far exceed what was anticipated. Predictions vary, but some expect sales reached nearly 700,000. No matter the number, analysts reveal that the results are still impressive.

The iPad is everything that Apple promised it to be: sleek, fast, portable and fun and swarms of buyers flocked to stores for the tablet-style computer. The iPad costs $499 and offers only short-range WiFi communication. The version with 3G cellular web connectivity is expected to arrive later this month, starting at $629. All models of the iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and U.K. by late April.

By the time the iPad was released, more than 3,100 apps were made available for the device. Many of these programs were originally developed for the iPhone and iPod touch. One of the top non-free apps was Netflix Inc. app, which offers streaming movies. Another top non-free app was an app from Walt Disney Co.’s ABC television network that offers free streaming of ABC shows.

According to an analysis by Mobclix Inc., apps for the iPad were priced, on average, at $4.99 higher than the average of $3.37 for iPhone apps. The largest category of iPad apps was games.

Apple said users downloaded more than one million applications and 250,000 e-books from its iBookstore during the first day.

Unlike what happened in 2007 with the iPhone, few stores actually sold out of the iPad device, which raises the question of how much demand there truly is. Apple is trying to make the tablet-style computer a mainstream device. Its success will depend on whether less-technological savvy consumers embrace the device.

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