Apple sells more than 300,000 iPads on first day; is it enough?

Apple on Monday announced that it sold more than 300,000 iPads in the U.S. on the first day of sales, April 3. But is it enough?

Special Report: Apple iPad

Apple on Monday announced that it sold more than 300,000 iPads in the U.S. on the first day of sales, April 3. But is it enough?

That figure, taken through midnight Saturday, includes deliveries of pre-ordered iPads, deliveries to channel partners and sales at Apple retail stores. But I can't help but think that the number is a little low.

There are a few reasons this may be:

  • A holiday weekend: Many folks who celebrate Easter were traveling and otherwise preoccupied;
  • Split availability: 3G models, which are more expensive, were not a part of the launch;
  • Proof: the iPad is a bit harder for consumers to digest than an iPod or iPhone. An iPod makes music. An iPhone makes phone calls. What the heck does an iPad do?

Apple also announced that iPad users downloaded more than one million apps from the App Store, and, interestingly, more than 250,000 ebooks from the iBookstore on the first day.

It appears to me that Apple has quite a bit of work ahead of it. The iPad has been accepted and impatiently awaited by technologists around the world, but the mass market still is merely curious about the device -- and that curiosity isn't strong enough to plunk more than $500 to take it home.

My take: Give it time. The technologists need to have time to crow about the virtues of the iPad to their non-techie buddies, who in turn will buy the device at Best Buy, rather than an Apple Store.

In the meantime, Apple needs to flood the airwaves with its iconic commercials featuring the iPad, not iPhone. Once it can show the average consumer what it can do, perhaps then they will bite.