Apple sold 3 million iPads in the three days following the launch of the iPad Mini and the fourth-generation iPad, the Cupertino company said today. Apple did not further break down that figure, so it remains unclear precisely how many Minis were actually unloaded, but in a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook said interest in the high-powered, pint-sized tablet remained robust.
"Customers around the world love the new iPad mini and fourth generation iPad," Mr. Cook said. "We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis. We're working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand."
About that "launch weekend record": Earlier this year, customers reportedly snapped up 1.5 million Wi-Fi-only third-generation iPads in the first weekend that device was available. Because the fourth-generation and iPad Mini are currently only available in Wi-Fi versions (4G units will become available in the next couple of weeks), Apple can kind of/sort of said it broke its own record with the newest tablets.
Of course, as Chloe Albanesius points out over at PC Mag, Apple actually sold a total of 3 million third-generation iPads between March 16 and 19. (Unsurprisingly, Apple's marketing chief, Philip Schiller, said at the time that the third-generation iPad was a "blockbuster with 3 million sold – the strongest iPad launch yet.") Still, "launch weekend record" has such a nice ring to it!
Analysts have predicted that the Mini, essentially a "tweener" device – midway between smartphone and tablet – will fall somewhat short of past Apple product launches. Which makes sense: If you already own a full-sized iPad (and plenty of you do) and an iPhone, you'll be hard-pressed to fork over the extra $329 for a third Apple handset.
"We continue to believe that while launch lines and initial weekend sales may not be as impressive as previous iPad launches, the iPad Mini will be a hit product for Apple and become a more significant part of the story over the next 2-3 quarters," Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray wrote in a note to clients obtained by MarketWatch.
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