Stocks sell out in weekend launch of iPad 2

Mar 14, 2011
Finance

The rollout of iPad 2 from Apple (AAPL) drew long lines—and rang up big sales. Piper Jaffray reports that its spot check of retailers showed that stocks of iPad 2 sold out over the weekend… shelves essentially were bare Friday, launch day. Deutsche reported the same results in its check of 100 stores, half Apple […]

The rollout of iPad 2 from Apple (AAPL) drew long lines—and rang up big sales.

Piper Jaffray reports that its spot check of retailers showed that stocks of iPad 2 sold out over the weekend… shelves essentially were bare Friday, launch day. Deutsche reported the same results in its check of 100 stores, half Apple retail stores and the rest being Best Buy, Wal-Mart, AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) stores.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimates that between 400,000 and 500,000 iPad 2s sold this first weekend compared with 300,000 for iPad 1 last April. His conservative first-quarter estimate of a half million already may have been met.

No doubt app sales will ensue. Munster found that 17 percent of purchasers expect to use apps and play games, up from 9 percent previously.

Neil Weinberg blogged at Shiny Objects in Forbes: “Can’t find an iPad 2? Blame the newbies. A new survey suggests most of those in the mobs that cleared Apple’s latest tablet computer out of stores over the weekend have never owned an iPad.”

Thinner, lighter, faster and the front- and rear-facing cams—highlighs of the new iPad—were downplayed by the critics. But they were enough to attract the newbies: 70 percent of iPad 2 buyers were first-time buyers, according to Munster, whose team interviewed people waiting in lines in the Big Apple and Minneapolis.

This finding contrasts with the 23 percent of iPhone 4 buyers who were newbies.

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Munster said: “We believe this shows Apple is expanding its base of iPad users, which is critical to maintaining its early lead in the growing tablet market. As the user base grows Apple’s lead widens, and the company has a proven track record of building unmatched brand loyalty, which we believe will be a potent combination as the tablet market evolves.”

PC users are starting to go for the Apple iPad bait: 51 percent of iPad users are on Macs and 49 percent on PCs. Last year, the ratio was 74/26.

Fun fact: Forrester last week forecast that Amazon (AMZN) may be the only player capable of disrupting the iPad franchise, even as a slew of others, especially Motorola Mobility Holdings (MMI) with the Xoom, have made their moves. Munster found that 24 percent of iPad 2 buyers own Amazon Kindles, up from 13 percent of the purchasers of the original iPad.

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