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Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray said in a note to investors on Monday that he expects Apple will sell more than a million iPads on Friday when the new model hits shelves. That would be a positive for the company, which has likely seen iPad sales slow down after the holidays in anticipation of a new model.
Wall Street watchers generally expect Apple will sell about 10.1 million iPads in the current March quarter. Sales of one million in just one day would go a long way toward exceeding that projection for the three-month period.
"That said, even if iPad sales are less than 10 (million) in (the March quarter), we see it as a win-win given investors will attribute the miss to a slowdown ahead of the new iPad and start to anticipate a strong rebound in the June-12 quarter," Munster wrote.
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.
For the third-generation iPad launch, Munster drew a comparison to the iPhone 4 debut in 2010. He noted that since the launch of the first iPad, Apple has sold just over 55 million iPads, while the iPhone 4 debuted in 5 countries after Apple had sold over 50 million iPhones through the March 2010 quarter.
"The company took 600 (thousand) pre-orders in one day (6/5/10) before systems were overloaded and pre-orders were halted," Munster wrote. "Then on 6/24 retail sales began and by 6/26 (with 3 days of sales) the company had sold 1.7 (million) iPHone 4 units. Given the new iPad will be sold in 12 countries on 3/16, we are confident the company will sell over 1 (million) on launch day."