Apple's iPad 2 will sell some 600,000 units this weekend, according to one analyst. Others predict similar robust figures for the tablet's initial sales period.
Apple could sell more than 600,000 iPad 2 units over the weekend, Gleacher
& Co. analyst Brian Marshall told Bloomberg
That would more than double the pace set by the original iPad, which
moved 300,000 units in its first 24 hours of release in April 2010. That
number included preorders.
Marshall joins other analysts in
predicting that the iPad 2 will do well in the marketplace. In a March 8
research note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted that the tablet
will sell 1 million units faster than its predecessor, which took 28 days to
reach that mark. Part of the reason for the quicker sales, he argued, is the
iPad 2's availability at a broader collection of retail stores.
The original iPad launched at 221 Apple retail stores and most of Best Buy's
1,100 stores in the United States.
By comparison, the iPad 2 will debut in not only 236 Apple stores, but more
than 10,000 other retail outlets. Best Buy, Walmart, Target, AT&T and
Verizon will all offer the new tablet.
Data from research firm IDC suggests that
Apple's share of the tablet market fell between the third and fourth quarters
of 2010, from 93 percent to 73 percent. That came in the face of more robust
competition from a number of competitors, notably Samsung and its 7-inch Galaxy
Tab, which managed to take 17 percent of the market by the end of the year.
Overall, some 10.1 million media tablets shipped during the fourth quarter,
versus 4.5 million in the third.
In addition to a growing number of Google Android tablets, including the
higher-end Motorola Xoom, 2011 will see the release of Research In Motion's
PlayBook and Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad, both of which run proprietary
Despite that increased number of rivals, IDC
expects that Apple will manage to maintain a 70 percent to 80 percent share of
the market. The iPad 2 comes with a variety of hardware upgrades designed to
match competing specs, including a dual-core processor and front- and
rear-facing cameras. The various models also retail for the same price points
as their original iPad equivalents.
In addition, Apple has slashed the price of first-generation iPads by $100,
in a bid to clear out its existing stock, and a healthy ecosystem of secondhand
devices has sprung up on Websites such as eBay.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.