On First Day, Apple Sells 300,000 iPads

NEW YORK TIMES – TECHNOLOGY
By JENNA WORTHAM

Apple said on Monday that it had sold more than 300,000 iPads on the device’s first day on the market, a figure that included preorders. That met the expectations of financial analysts who were keeping tabs on the release of the company’s highly anticipated tablet computer.

“It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world,” said Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, in a statement. “It’s going to be a game changer.”

Because Apple is hoping to popularize a new kind of computing device, one that combines elements of a laptop and smartphone, acceptance among consumers is likely to be slower than with previous Apple devices, said Michael Abramsky, an analyst with RBC Capital.

“This device is the leading edge in a market that is still being created, so lots of folks are still trying to figure out the relevance of the iPad to them,” he said. “But given that not everyone understands what it does yet, it’s a pretty good launch at the end of the day.”

Some buyers may be waiting for future versions of the iPad, perhaps with a camera or other new features, Mr. Abramsky said. His firm had been expecting Apple to sell 300,000 to 400,000 iPads over the whole weekend.

The version of the iPad that went on sale Saturday can connect to the Internet only via a Wi-Fi connection, leading analysts to wonder whether some consumers are waiting for the 3G version, which will work over a cellphone network.

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