iPad 2 Sales Exceed Expectations, Availability Is Scarce, Still No Agreement On Numbers

Rainy day blues aren't enough to stop demand for the iPad 2.

According to analysts from Piper Jaffray and Deutsche Bank, the iPad 2 completely sold out in its first weekend on store shelves. Now exactly how many iPads “sold out” amounts to is anyone’s estimate at this point.

  • Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland says he “would not be surprised” to learn that the iPad 2 sold 1 million units in its debut retail weekend. {Reuters}
  • Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster puts the number at 400-500,000 iPad 2s sold, compared to 300,000 of the first generation iPad. {CNN/Fortune}

Munster goes on to make several estimations, but they’re based on a sample size of 236 people – down from 448 respondents last year. Depending on which sales estimates you believe, that’s less than 1/100th of 1 percent of all purchasers at best. While the findings point to a strong surge in interest in the latest iPad, it’s worth keeping in mind that this means it’s probably not a large enough sample group to draw a highly accurate, apples to apples comparison, but here are the general trends from the survey:

iPad 2 purchasers are more evenly split between Mac and PC people (51% and 49% respectively). For the original iPad the buyers were more heavily Mac users (74%)

No one is abandoning their iPhone for the iPad. Of the 65% of purchasers who were also iPhone owners, 100% planned to use both devices.

No one is abandoning their computer either. 97% of people purchasing an iPad 2 – up 1% from last year’s iPad purchasers – will use both their computer and iPad. Sorry media guys, no one’s totally abandoning the internet for apps. Especially since…

Surfing the web remains the primary activity people plan to use their iPad for. That’s according to 38% of respondents, up 1% from last year. Don’t let that stop you from making interesting apps though: last year only 9% of people listed apps and games as what they’d primarily use their iPad for, this year it’s up to 17%.

What nearly everyone agreed on was that if you didn’t get an iPad 2 this weekend, you’re pretty much out of luck. All of the analysts who called stores for spot checks reported that all of their iPad 2 stocks had been depleted, and weren’t expected to be restocked right away.

The key takeaways for anyone on the content side captivated by the power of the iPad are that it’s definitely a highly desirable audience (the higher priced 32GB and 64GB versions gained popularity at the expense of the entry level 16GB iPad 2), but it’s not an excuse to abandon the open web for more controlled apps.  Though now might be a good time to work on mobile and tablet optimized versions of websites for said open web.

iPad 2 line image via Engadget


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