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Mini launch: Apple sells three million iPads in three days

Bless Apple customers, who seem to have plenty of stomach for the company releasing three new iPads in less than a year.

The company sold three million iPads in the three days after the new mini and fouth generation iPad were launched Friday, it said in a statement today.

It did not break out sales by model.

The company said the mini had "practically sold out".

The 7.85-inch display iPad mini lacks the latest full-size model's Retina display, and is pricier than competitors, but has otherwise gained high praise from critics.

The fourth generation iPad (from $729) is an incremental upgrade, adding a beefier processor and Apple's smaller Lightning connector (the third-generation iPad is phased out; the iPad 2 has stayed on as a budget option priced from $579).

The result puts sales on a par of the third generation iPad released in March, which the company said sold three million in four days.

In its recent third-quarter result, Apple said it had sold 14 million iPads in the past three months - a 58% increase on the year-ago period but 17% down on the prior quarter and below analyst expectations of 15 million. Now, things seem to have perked up.

A cellular-capable version of the iPad mini will be released next week.

Shares fall away
Apple shares [NAS:AAPL], which hit an all-time high of $US710.10 on September 19, closed at $US576.80 yesterday.

In late trading they were up 0.32% to $US578.66.

Investors have praised a recent executive reshuffle, which included the sacking of Scott Forstall (the executive responsible for Apple Maps). 

But some have fretted that the iPad mini's price ($NZ479 to $NZ979) is twice that of the 7-inch Android competition (in the US market at least).

Market share under pressure
In the smartphone market, handsets based on Google's Android software are now utterly dominant. One recent survey put the five-year-old platform's shipment share at 75%.

In the tablet market, the reverse is true. Apple maintains an overwhelming lead. A recent IDC survey put its global market share at more than 68% in the second quarter, with Android tablet makers holding most of the balance.

But IIDC's thrid quarter figures show Apple's tablet shipment share sliding from 68.2% to 50.4%.

The company will be hoping the strong iPad mini and fourth generation iPad sales start will turn that around.

Comments and questions

The mini is a brave move and an interesting one. Whilst many industry watchers have got caught up in the harwdwares merits and weaknesses, few have realised the iPad Mini signals a sea-change from Apple setting market direction and leading on innovation to merely following and reacting. Its quite an important change

only one other comment - This is a very telling change too