Apple is surely celebrating today. The iPad and iPhone maker launched the iPad 2 this past weekend and sales have exceeded expectations. According to a Reuters report, the company sold nearly 1 million units of the latest innovation in tablet computing.
By contrast, the original iPad, launched in April of 2010, took 28 days to cross the one-million mark. Apparently, customers were anticipating this latest release, already getting a taste of what tablet computing can do in their home and work lives.
While a number of technology company shares slumped and the NASDAQ was down 0.7 percent on Monday, Apple enjoyed a rise of 0.6 percent in its own shares to reach $354.20 in morning trade.
iPad 2 tablets went on sale in the U.S. on Friday evening. Customers could find them at Apple stores, AT&T and Verizon Wireless outlets. Retail chains offering the new tablet included Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy.
Even with this selection, analysts found that it was difficult to find an iPad 2 over the weekend. Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White reported that field checks indicated that the iPad 2 sold out at every Apple and non-Apple store contacted. All stores reportedly worked through iPad 2 inventory by Saturday afternoon and no new deliveries occurred on Sunday.
The new iPad 2 is reportedly thinner, faster and offers features such as a pair of cameras for video chat. Pricing for this new generation remains the same as its forerunner at a $499 starting price.
JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz suggested that the iPad 2’s early success is a warning sign that a global tablet bubble is inevitable. He suggests that supply could outpace demand for tablets by as much as 36 percent.
Apple’s share of the tablet market – which it now shares with Motorola and Samsung and will be joined by RIM and HP in the coming months – is expected to be 61 percent in 2011. Moskowitz believes the company’s competitors will have a tough time attracting customers.
Will the iPad dominate the market worldwide? The latest tablet will launch in additional 26 countries on March 25.
Last month, Apple introduced a new subscription plan to see if its terms violate any antitrust laws. Sources close to the situation told the Wall Street Journal that the inquiry is said to have been in the "preliminary stage" and may not result in any legal action or even a formal investigation.
TechZone360 Contributing Editor
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