Apple: 3M iPads sold over the weekend

While lines were shorter than at past Apple events, the company says it doubled the milestone set by the third-generation iPad in March.

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iPad Mini buyer
Andrew Li was in line early in New York on Friday to get his iPad Mini. Marguerite Reardon/CNET

Apple said today that it had sold 3 million iPads over the weekend, doubling its previous iPad launch in March.

The launch was a bit unusual this time around. Rather than a single product, Apple offered both the newly unveiled iPad Mini, as well as a fourth-generation iPad, which came with a faster processor and other minor upgrades.

The debut in stores was marred on the East Coast by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed homes, left many other people without power, and hindered access to transportation. Several of Apple's stores in lower Manhattan were shut down Friday because of the continuing problems. On the West Coast and overseas, lines were shorter than in previous Apple launch events.

Still, demand continued to outstrip supply, and New York's top store quickly sold out of iPad Minis.

"We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "We're working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand."

The line of customers waiting to buy iPad minis outside the downtown San Francisco store on Friday morning. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Apple didn't break out how many iPad Minis and larger iPads were sold over the weekend, but presumably many were in line to buy the smaller tablet. The iPad Mini is Apple's attempt to address consumer demand for smaller tablets that have largely been dominated by Amazon, Samsung, and more recently, Google and Asus.

Apple continues to be burdened by supply constraint issues that have kept it from immediately fulfilling orders to customers. Analysts believed those issues would limit sales numbers.

The devices are available in 34 countries. A version of the new iPad and iPad Mini with both Wi-Fi and cellular connections will come in the next few weeks.

iPad Mini hits Apple stores (pictures)

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