Apple iPad 2 sales: New customers buying; Analysts see big launch

Summary:The launch of Apple's iPad 2 is being billed as one of the largest ever and analysts are noting that the majority of buyers didn't own the tablet previously.

The launch of Apple's iPad 2 is being billed as one of the largest ever and analysts are noting that the majority of buyers didn't own the tablet previously.

Now that the lines outside Apple stores are clear and gadget lovers are telling their tales, analysts are starting to handicap sales.

Also: All Apple iPad stories,

launch day scenes, and must have iPad 2 apps.

In a research note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster made the following points based on a survey of 236 people in line at Apple stores in New York and Minneapolis:

  • 70 percent of iPad 2 buyers were new to the iPad.
  • Apple is likely to have sold 400,000 to 500,000 iPad 2 units over the weekend.
  • That weekend tally likely accounts for the launch day since inventory is already thin.

Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry said in a research note that the iPad 2 was likely to be Apple's largest ever. Chowdhry found that 60 percent of iPad 2 buyers were existing iPad owners. All iPad 2 buyers owned at least one other Apple product. Chowdhry also added this nugget: AT&T's iPad 2 seemed to be preferred over Verizon.

Munster wrote:

Given extended lead times at the online store and sold out retail stores, we believe iPad 2 sales exceeded Apple's initial expectations. We continue to believe that Apple sold between 400k and 500k iPad 2s over the weekend (vs. 300k original iPads over launch weekend). And we note that the weekend number for iPad 2 is essentially a launch day total because stock was so quickly depleted and not replenished over the weekend. iPads are sold out across virtually all channels. In calling various retailers over the weekend that carry iPad 2 (Apple stores, Target, Best Buy, etc.) we were unable to find any availability.

Checks from our blog network noted that you could find a few iPad 2 units at various retailers. However, those units weren't found in tech centers.

Some key data points from Munster's survey:

  • 30 percent of iPad 2 buyers were buying the 64GB version and 41 percent were going for the 32GB variety. Those percentages were both up from the first iPad launch where 39 percent of buyers went for the 16GB version.
  • 53 percent of iPad 2 buyers were going with the Wi-Fi only version.
  • 70 percent didn't have the first iPad.
  • 97 percent said the PC or Mac will be used with the iPad.

Now what? Chowdhry indicated that Best Buy stores expect more shipments next week.

Here's a look at a portion of Munster's survey:

Topics: iPad, Apple, Enterprise Software, Mobility

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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