Apple sells 3M new iPads in first weekend of availability

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) disclosed late Monday that it has sold more than three million units of its new iPad tablet since the device went on sale Friday morning, bearing out Apple CEO Tim Cook's proclamation that the company had a "record" weekend for iPad sales.

Click here for Apple's introductory video for the new iPad.

Apple did not disclose how many new iPads with LTE connectivity were sold; the new iPad is the first Apple device to have LTE support. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) support the device in the United States. AT&T said Monday that on Friday it set a new, single-day record for its iPad sales and activations, demonstrating "robust demand." Meanwhile, Verizon said it was "quite pleased with sales, which have been brisk through the weekend," according to AllThingsD.  

The opening weekend sales demonstrate that there is still strong demand in the market for Apple's iPad despite a slew of other competitors trying to take share away from the device. Apple did not release opening weekend sales figures last year for the iPad 2, but analysts estimate it sold around one million units its first weekend. It took Apple 28 days to reach one million unit sales of the original iPad.

Despite the robust sales, the tablet may do little to pad carriers' overall revenue, according to a new study. A report from Chetan Sharma Consulting found that 90 percent of tablet users are only using Wi-Fi, even if the tablets have cellular data capabilities, which Sharma wrote meant that the operator channel is not a necessary tablet distribution channel. "Operators who start to bundle multiple devices by single data plans and data buckets are going to see a better yield in this category," Sharma wrote. "We expect family data plans to be introduced in the U.S. market soon." Indeed, Verizon expects to introduce such plans by the middle of the year.

For more:
- see this release
- see this NYT blog post
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this separate AllThingsD article

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