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Monday, March 19, 2012, 06:23 am PT (09:23 am ET)

Apple 'thrilled' with record launch of new iPad

The new iPad got off to a record start on its launch weekend, with sales over the first three days that have "thrilled" Apple executives.

During his company's dividend and share repurchase announcement conference call, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was asked on Monday by analyst Gene Munster if he would announce sales of the new iPad. Cook declined to do so, but did reveal that the new iPad got off to a record start.

"We had a record weekend and we're thrilled with it," Cook said.

Apple's third-generation iPad launched last Friday, featuring a new high-resolution Retina display along with an improved A5X processor and higher quality rear camera. It is also Apple's first 4G LTE-capable device.

Cook said at the start of Monday's call that, as of last quarter, Apple had sold a total of 55 million iPads. But those figures did not include the most recent quarter, including the launch of the new iPad.

One projection issued prior to Friday's launch forecast Apple to sell one million of the new iPad over the launch weekend. Investors generally expect Apple to sell 10.1 million total iPads in the current fiscal quarter, which concludes at the end of this month.

Back in 2010, Apple sold more than 300,000 iPads on the first-generation product's launch day. Supply for the iPad 2 launch was very constrained, and Apple did not give a launch-day sales figure.

Apple previously stated that demand for the new iPad is "off the charts" after preorders for the device sold out. The new iPad went on sale last Friday in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.K, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.