iPad 3G sales estimated at 300,000 for launch weekend

Consumers scoop up the 3G model of the Apple device almost as briskly as they did its Wi-Fi-only sibling, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

The iPad 3G's first weekend at market was a successful one, though not quite as successful as that of its Wi-Fi-only predecessor.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimates that Apple sold about 300,000 iPad 3Gs between Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, including 52 days of preorders. That's approximately what the original iPad sold during its first day of availability, including 22 days of preorders. So while the 3G isn't selling quite as briskly as its sibling, it's selling well--so well, in fact, that by Sunday afternoon most of the Apple stores Munster surveyed were completely sold out of the device. Not bad considering prices for the iPad 3G start at $629, quite a bit more than the $499 entry-level price of Wi-Fi-only models.

"As of 3:00PM ET on Sunday afternoon (5/2), 49 of 50 Apple stores we called were completely sold out of the iPad 3G (most were also sold out of wi-fi only models)," Munster wrote in a Sunday note to clients. "While it is difficult to gauge, we believe this is due to both stronger than expected demand and lower than intended supply on the part of Apple. Near-term, this may put downward pressure on launch day/weekend statistics, but long-term we see it as a positive, as consumers are definitely interested in the iPad as a new category."

Munster figures that by now Apple has sold more than a million total iPads (Wi-Fi-only and 3G, both), enough to make him wonder whether his estimate of 1.3 million sold during the June quarter might be conservative.

Update 6:42 a.m. PDT: On Monday morning, Apple announced that it has sold a total of 1 million iPads .

 

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