Apple sold nearly 1 mn iPad 2s in debut weekend

Apple sold nearly 1 mn iPad 2s in debut weekend


United States: Analysts expect Apple Inc to have sold close to a million iPad 2 tablet computers in its first weekend, trumping debut sales of the first iPad that went on sale in April 2010.

“We would not be surprised to see Apple sell closer to 1 million iPad2s in the opening weekend," said Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland.

The original version crossed the one million mark 28 days after its launch.

Best Buy on Friday said some of its outlets ran out of the tablet and its accessories within 10 minutes.

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.

The profile of iPad 2 buyer is 60% existing iPad owners, 40% first-time iPad buyers and 100 % own at-least one Apple product, Chowdhry wrote.

People prefer AT&T’s iPad 2 over Verizon’s because AT&T has better customer service, Chowdhry added.

Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc, just started selling Apple’s iPhone in February, ending AT&T Inc’s more than three-year hold on U.S. iPhone sales.

UBS said the strong iPad demand bodes well but the focus is likely to be on Japan, which accounted for about 6% of fiscal 2010 revenues. A massive earthquake and a subsequent tsunami over the weekend brought life to a standstill in Japan.

Some analysts flagged the possibility of an imminent tablet bubble due to iPad 2s solid demand.

The early success is a warning sign of a global tablet bubble, where supply could outpace demand for tablets by about 36%, said J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz.

Samsung and Motorola have already launched tablet devices, while Blackberry maker RIM and Hewlett-Packard Co are set to release similar products in coming months.

Apple is expected to own at least 61% of tablets in 2011, whereas other entrants are likely to face disappointing adoption curves, Moskowitz wrote in a note.