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Apple: iPad 2 demand is "amazing"

Dana Franklin

"Demand for the next generation iPad 2 has been amazing." That's what Apple's spokesperson Trudy Miller told The Loop, and it's consistent with everyone's anecdotal evidence.

Apple released the iPad 2 at 5 PM on Friday evening. Long lines of customers greeted the launch, hoping to be one of the first to own the hugely anticipated device.

According to analyst checks, the iPad 2 sold out at many locations before the end of its first night of availability. On Sunday, Apple's online store showed a wait of 3-4 weeks to get any model of the new iPad 2.

"We are working hard to get iPad 2 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible," said Muller.

Apple has not specified how many iPad 2s sold over the weekend. According to the Wall Street Journal, most analysts predict Apple sold between 400,000 and 600,000 units in the tablet's first three days on the market. Some analysts were even more bullish.

"We would not be surprised to see Apple sell closer to 1 million iPad 2s in the opening weekend," said Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland.

The iPad 2 launched at approximately 10,000 retail locations across the United States. For the iPad 2 to cross the 1 million unit mark over the weekend, each location would have needed to sell an average of 100 units. While this number sounds reasonably achievable, it's not clear that Apple provided every location with 100 iPads to sell. According to Reuters, Best Buy on Friday said some of its locations sold through their iPad 2 supplies within the first 10 minutes.

"We didn't expect anything close to this," said Gene Munster, technology analyst for Piper Jaffray. "iPads are sold out across virtually all channels. We were unable to find any availability."

After surveying retailers over the weekend, Munster believes the iPad 2 was completely sold out on Saturday, and sales of the iPad 2 could have been higher if more of them had been in stock.

Munster also surveyed about 200 iPad 2 owners over the weekend. Of those surveyed, 70 percent were first-time iPad buyers, 51 percent owned a Mac, 47 percent purchased a model with 3G and 41 percent bought an iPad 2 with 32 GB of storage.

No word on how many people bought Smart Covers.

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