Apple announced Monday that it has already sold three million new iPads over the first weekend. The tablet launched Friday, March 16, meaning that Apple was pushing roughly one million tablets a day, give or take a few depending on how current the numbers were when the Monday press release was issued.
Apple CEO Tim Cook quickly hinted at it during a conference call early Monday morning announcing Apple's dividend and buy-back plans, saying that the tablet saw "record" sales, but quickly shut down further questioning by saying that the call was about their announcement to investors, not about iPad sales.
Senior VP of worldwide marketing for Apple, Phil Schiller--who is probably used to being told that Apple broke sales records at this point--said it has been the most successful iPad launch yet. "The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold--the strongest iPad launch yet," adding, "We can't wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday."
Furthermore, AT&T said it saw a record number of new iPad activations on its network. Launch day saw a "new single-day record" for iPad sales and activations for the carrier, "demonstrating robust demand for the new iPad on the nation's largest 4G network, covering nearly 250 million people."
Verizon offered a statement of its own: "We are quite pleased with sales, which have been brisk through the weekend, and we are excited to offer customers an alternative that lets them enjoy their new iPad on the nation's largest 4G LTE Network." Note that both announcements had to make mention of how awesome their network is.
In all honesty, record-breaking iOS device sales come as little surprise anymore. It seems that with every iPhone or iPad Apple release there is an announcement following shortly after to remind us of why Apple is the most successful company in the world right now.
Apple was apparently much more prepared to handle the demand this time around as most retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy seem to have the new iPad in stock based on our quick glances through stores. This wasn't the case with the iPad 2, which was difficult to find for a while. Apple's website does have them on backorder for one or two weeks, but that's expected. Those who waited in front of Apple stores probably didn't need to be there--other than to be part of the fun launch line with hundreds of other Apple enthusiasts.
Interestingly, it seems that the iPad 2 hasn't lost much value on eBay. Our guess is that people are willing to pay big bucks for the extra storage as Apple recently discontinued the iPad 2 in 32GB and 64GB flavors. Either way, Apple is pleased, and the Android tablet makers are still left scratching their heads.