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iPad sales: Zero to 51,000 in 2 hours

The Apple iPad is seen in an undated handout image. Apple unveiled the iPad on January 27, 2010. The technology, similar to the iPhone, has a 9.7-inch touch screen, is a half-inch thick, and weighs 1.5 pounds. It will cost between $499 - $699, depending on the storage size. UPI/Apple Inc.
The Apple iPad is seen in an undated handout image. Apple unveiled the iPad on January 27, 2010. The technology, similar to the iPhone, has a 9.7-inch touch screen, is a half-inch thick, and weighs 1.5 pounds. It will cost between $499 - $699, depending on the storage size. UPI/Apple Inc.

CUPERTINO, Calif., March 15 (UPI) -- Apple Corp. sold 120,000 iPad digital readers on its first day, industry observers said.

Fastcompany.com reported Monday that Apple may have needlessly limited iPad sales on Friday's "pre-order" day to two per customer because the average sale was for 1.1 units. However, business was brisk, especially considering that, as a "pre-order," none of the customers had even seen an iPad up close.

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Sales apparently declined on the second and third day of the sale, Apple Insider reported. By comparing order numbers, however, Apple Insider said 51,000 iPads were pre-ordered in the first 2 hours of the sale.

Fortune Brainstorm Tech industry analyst Philip Elmer-DeWitt said Saturday and Sunday sales slowed to 1,000 per hour.

Another industry analyst, Daniel Tello, predicted Apple would sell a half million iPads before the April 3 launch date and 1 million within two weeks after that.

About 70 percent of buyers opted for the Wi-Fi version of the iPad, presumably because it was available sooner than the 3G version, Fastcompany.com said.

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