The early adopters are out in force today. Based on analysis from Fortune's Apple 2.0 blog & the investors of the AAPL board on Investor Village, it seems that as many as 50,000 iPads were pre-ordered in its first two hours of availability this morning. That's pretty staggering demand, especially considering that on a typical day Apple only receives an average of 15,000 online orders for all products combined.
Naturally, we have no way of knowing if these numbers are exact as of yet. The numbers reflect over 50,000 orders placed in two hours, and the percentage of those that are iPad orders isn't clear. Considering that the iPad was just made available for pre-order today, however, and the 15K daily average noted above, it's likely the majority of orders placed this morning were indeed for the iPad. Additionally, the numbers only reflect the number of orders placed, not the number of units ordered; taken with the 2-pad maximum for today's pre-orders, the data does suggest that somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000 iPad pre-orders were placed within two hours of its availability.
This suggests a huge demand for the device, at least among early adopters. It will be very interesting to see if this trend is repeated once the iPad is actually available in stores.
One interesting note: even if all 50,000 of those iPads were the $499 version (which is very unlikely), based on iSuppli's analysis of that unit's build cost, it means Apple gained nearly $13.5 million in
revenue profit from the iPad alone in a mere two hours -- and that's the bare minimum. Once you factor in all the other models and their higher prices, the numbers climb by several million dollars. Even for a company with a market cap in excess of $205 billion, that's still pretty amazing performance.