Cupertino, Calif. -
said it sold more than 300,000 iPads on Saturday, less than the 600,000 to 700,000 forecast by at least one market-research company, Piper Jaffray.
First-day sales were nonetheless impressive, said Stephen Baker, NPD Group's industry analysis VP. "One-day sales of 300,000 units through such limited distribution as just Apple stores and Web site, as well as certain Best Buys, is a true testament to the power of publicity and marketing, combined with a consumer's trust in a company that has a track record for delivering great products that meet up with the hype," he said.
An NPD survey "clearly showed that early adopters and Apple enthusiasts would be the primary first buyers, and the news reports around the country seem to indicate that is what happened. However, with 300,000 units of sales, it is clear that the early adopter market, at least for Apple, is growing to such a size that enormous launch results, such as these, are not out-of-line with market potential."
First-day sales included deliveries of pre-ordered iPads to consumers, sales through Apple's stores, and deliveries to non-retail and retail channel partners such as Best Buy, Apple said.
The Wall Street Journal reported that initial long lines at Apple stores faded in many stores by mid-morning and that few stores reported stock outages.
Apple also announced that purchasers of the Wi-Fi-enabled iPads downloaded more than a million apps from Apple's App Store and more than 250,000 e-books from its iBookstore during the first day of availability.
More than 3,000 apps were available for sale for the device's debut, including a
from Amazon. The app, which features a user interface tailored to the iPad's capabilities, lets users shop the Kindle Store's more than 450,000 books and features Amazon Whispersync technology, which saves and synchronize the last page read by a user, bookmarks, notes and highlights across multiple devices using a Kindle app. The devices include the Kindle, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac and iPad.
In the U.S., the iPad is currently available as Wi-Fi-only models at a suggested $499 for the 16GB version, $599 for the 32GB version and $699 for 64GB. Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available in late April at a suggested $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB.