Apple has sold more than 2 million iPads in the less than 60 days since it launched the tablet-style device, Apple announced May 31.
Following the device’s instant success in the United States-with sales passing 1 million units in just a month-Apple delayed the iPad’s international launch. Over the U.S. Memorial Day weekend, however, the iPad arrived in stores in the United Kingdom and is additionally shipping in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland.
Developers have so far created more than 5,000 applications for the iPad, although the device can, with varying user experiences, additionally run almost all of the 200,000-plus apps in the Apple App Store that were created for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
More than just a success for Apple, the 1.5-pound iPad-which is dominated by a 9.7-inch LED-backlit widescreen display with multitouch technology-has breathed new life into the tablet market, and nearly a dozen manufacturers now have tablets in the works or are seriously considering adding one to their lineup.
Dell, for example, recently introduced the Streak, a 5-inch, Android-running tablet that will arrive in the United Kingdom in early June and the United States in late summer. Worldwide PC leader Hewlett-Packard also has plans to release a tablet running Windows 7, followed, eventually, by another with the WebOS platform developed by Palm-which HP recently purchased.
On May 31, Asustek also got in the game, releasing images and limited specifications for two tablets that it has planned. Both will run the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.
Celebrating the iPad’s 2 million mark, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement, “Customers around the world are experiencing the magic of iPad, and seem to be loving it as much as we do. We appreciate their patience, and are working hard to build enough iPads for everyone.”
Foxconn, which reportedly builds the iPad, as well Apple’s iPhone and devices for other high-end brands such as Nokia, Dell and HP, has made headlines in recent weeks following the attempted suicides of approximately 12 workers since the start of the year.
Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou has made an effort to prove that workers are not working under sweatshop-like conditions-though even the day that Gou led journalists of a tour of the facilities, the alleged 12th death was later reported.
Rather than grimy conditions, complaints appear to be primarily about workers facing long hours performing repetitive tasks under military-style conditions-such as being unable to talk on the job.
Reuters has reported that, in an attempt to address the issue, Hon Hai Group, which owns Foxconn, has announced that it plans to raise workers’ wages by an average of 20 percent. Reportedly, workers are currently paid the minimum wage of 900 yuan, or approximately $132 a month.
Hon Hai revenue in 2009 was approximately $44.56 billion U.S. According to the Taipei Times, Hon Hai’s revenue made it first on a list of 20 notebook and panel manufacturers that all reported 2009 earnings Jan. 8, 2010.