Yesterday, Apple placated investors when it announced plans to initiate a quarterly dividend along with a stock repurchasing program. During the ensuing conference call, Tim Cook was asked about the success of Apple's new iPad. Cook cryptically explained that the new iPad "experienced a record weekend."
A few hours later, Apple issued a press release announcing that during the first 4 days of availability, over 3 million new iPads were sold.
Apple today announced it has sold three million of its incredible new iPad, since its launch on Friday, March 16. The new iPad features a stunning new Retina display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics, a 5 megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video, and still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life* while remaining amazingly thin and light.
“The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold―the strongest iPad launch yet,” Phil Schiller explained in the press release. “Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday.”
By way of contrast, when Apple released the original iPad, it took them 28 days to reach the 1 million milestone. Note that Apple never released first weekend sales figures for the iPad 2, likely due to supply shortages which resulted in a less than accurate representation of its success.
But either way, 3 million iPads in just 4 days is astonishing, and further cements Apple's stranglehold on the tablet market. Or as many have astutely pointed out, the tablet market at this point is effectively the iPad market.
It's also worth mentioning that AT&T yesterday issued a short press release of its own.
On Friday, March 16, AT&T set a new single-day record for its iPad sales and activations, demonstrating robust demand for the new iPad on the nation’s largest 4G network, covering nearly 250 million people.
Translation? A decent chunk of those 3 million iPads are of the 4G variety, which of course bodes well for Apple given that they have higher margins than the wi-fi only models.
Currently, the iPad is available in 11 countries. That number will expand to 35 come Friday, March 23.
It's worth mentioning that the 4G enabled iPads will not work on carriers outside of North America due to disparate LTE frequencies used in Europe. Apple's iPad page on its website notes, "4G LTE supported on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US; Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada."
Just something to keep in mind for interested iPad owners abroad.
It's only Tuesday but it's already been a big week for Apple. In addittion to the recently announced dividend and stock buyback initiatives, and of course the 3 million in new iPad sales, shares of Apple on Monday closed at an all-time high of $601.10.