Apple: 3 Million iPads Sold In 3 Days

With a press release, Apple just confirmed it has sold over 3 million iPads (iPad mini + iPad 4th gen) in three days. Interestingly, Apple is not separating sales figures of the iPad mini from the regular iPad; in the press release, Apple simply says it is a new record doubling the previous milestone of 1.5 million weekend sales of the iPad 3 in March.

Apple today announced it has sold three million iPads in just three days since the launch of its new iPad mini and fourth generation iPad—double the previous first weekend milestone of 1.5 million Wi-Fi only models sold for the third generation iPad in March. The Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of both iPad mini and fourth generation iPad will ship in a few weeks in the US and in many more countries later this year.

Apple notes how “demand for iPad mini exceeded the initial supply”, confirming that some pre-orders (which began on October 26) will be shipped “later this month”. Tim Cook was quoted in the press release:

Customers around the world love the new iPad mini and fourth generation iPad,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis. We’re working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand.

To put these numbers in a better context, here’s how iPad sales evolved over time since the release of the original model in 2010:

And here’s a visualization of the iPad’s growth every quarter since launch, based on Apple’s Q4 numbers (which don’t include sales for the new models).

In today’s case, however, the comparison is different as Apple is accounting for two models (iPad mini and iPad 4th gen) in a somewhat clear intention to report iPad sales as a single category without specifying models — similarly to how they do for iPod sales or iPhone sales without differentiating between device models. It’s also worth remembering how the new iPads’ rollout has been one of the largest ones for Apple to date: the iPad mini went on sale on November 2 in 34 countries, whereas the 3rd generation iPad launched in 10 initial countries, and then rolled out to 25 more a week later; both WiFi and WiFi + Cellular versions of the 3rd generation iPad were available at launch.

The iPad mini launched to positive reviews, but saw fewer and shorter lines around the world with online pre-orders quickly sold out for every model.