The consensus on Wall Street is that Apple had a gangbuster weekend, some estimating the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant sold up to three times as many iPad 2 units as the first-generation tablet.
“We would not be surprised to see Apple sell closer to 1 million iPad 2s in the opening weekend,” Wedbush Securitities’ analyst Scott Sutherland (no relation to this reporter) told Reuters Monday morning. Sunday, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster estimated between 400,000 to 500,000 of the new tablets were sold by Sunday night.
Munster said the bulk of the purchases were made Friday, noting many stores he surveyed were out of the tablet by Saturday. Electronics retailer Best Buy echoed suggestions of an early sell-out, announcing some of its stores ran out of the iPad 2 and accessories within 10 minutes.
The new tablet, which includes a slimmer footprint and back and front cameras, appears to be selling at a far greater rate than its predecessor. Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry told reporters he expects Apple may have sold three times as many of the iPad 2 models. Most analysts forecast Apple sold between 350,000 to 400,000 iPad 2s during the first weekend.
Chowdhry also said 60 percent of consumers purchasing the iPad 2 already own the previous Apple tablet – and 100 percent own an Apple product. This differs from Munster’s survey of 236 people in New York City and Minneapolis waiting in lines over the weekend to purchase the new iPad. The analyst announced Sunday his survey found 70 percent of iPad 2 buyers were new, information he said suggested Apple was extending its reach into virgin territory.
Like Munster, the Global Equities researcher found iPad 2 buyers interested in the 3G model. Chowdhry said most buyers were picking the AT&T model over Verizon’s version due to a belief the carrier offered better customer service.