Initial iPad sales blow estimates away

Who wants an iPad? A lot of people, it turns out. After months of speculation that wavered between declaring Apple's latest creation the best thing since sliced bread, or just a bunch of hype, swarms of buyers descended upon Apple stores to purchase what Apple calls "a magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price." The device starts at $499.

Initial sales indicate the iPad is off to a fantastic start. While Apple won't release numbers, Piper Jaffray estimated first-day sales of between 600,000 to 700,000 units, including preorders, and lifted their 2010 iPad forecast to 5.5 million units from 2.8 million.

The iSupply Corp., a research firm, is even more optimistic, saying "worldwide iPad sales are expected to amount to 7.1 million units in 2010. Sales will double to 14.4 million in 2011 and nearly triple to 20.1 million in 2012."

Those are fantastic numbers for Apple, which Steve Jobs hopes will revive demand for tablet-style computers. But the real test will come when the hype dies down. Will you buy an iPad? Or do you think it's a bunch of hoopla over nothing special?


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