Analyst: New iPad Could Sell 1 Million On First Day

Piper Jaffray believes Apple’s new iPad could shift up to 1 million units on 16 March, the day of its release

Apple could sell as many as 1 million units of the new iPad on 16 March, the first day of its release, according to a new analyst report.

“We expect Apple to sell more than [1 million] iPads on 3/16, the day the new iPad hits retail stores,” Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, wrote in a 12 March research note. “While the sell-through number is impossible to predict, given uncertain iPad supply levels, sales of over [1 million] iPads on launch day would be a slight positive relative to the Street consensus at 10.1 [million] iPads in the Mar-12 quarter.”

Sales spike

According to Munster, Apple sold 300,000 of the original iPad on its launch date in April 2010. While Apple didn’t offer a launch-day sales figure for the iPad 2, massive sales during that first 24-hour period led to rising shipment lead times, which eventually peaked at two to three weeks.

Certainly, the new iPad could help Apple push back against other tablets in the marketplace, according to a separate analyst report.

“We believe Apple will maintain its dominant market share of the fast-growing tablet market despite increased competition,” T. Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, wrote in an 8 March research note. “We believe the new iPad has raised the bar relative to competing tablets with impressive hardware specifications, competitive pricing and the leading software ecosystem.”

Apple is apparently helped by Android manufacturers’ increased focus on smartphones over tablets. “While Android tablets were a primary focus at last year’s [Mobile World Congress],” he added, “most Android OEMs offered tablets but focused our MWC meetings on new smartphone offerings. With the iPad launch, we believe Apple has extended its leadership position in the fast-growing tablet market.”

Retina Display

Apple’s new iPad includes a high-resolution Retina Display, a new A5X processor with quad-core graphics, and a 5-megapixel rear camera capable of shooting 1080p video. It weighs slightly more than the iPad 2, at 1.4 pounds, and offers comparable battery life. Those in the US will have the option of purchasing the new iPad with 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity on either Verizon or AT&T, but the tablet will not support UK 4G networks.

The new iPad will keep the same prices as the previous model, starting at $499 (£320) for Wi-Fi-only versions, and $629 for those with 4G capability. Prices top out at $699 for the Wi-Fi-only, 64GB model and $829 for the 64GB model with Wi-Fi and 4G.

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