Apple today announced that it sold over 300,000 iPads in the U.S. as of midnight Saturday, April 3 — nowhere near the 700,000 units predicted. These sales included deliveries of pre-ordered iPads to customers, deliveries to channel partners, and sales at Apple Retail Stores. Apple also announced that iPad users downloaded over 1 million apps from Apple’s App Store and over 250,000 ebooks from its iBookstore during the first day. But the more interesting story is how Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray and others blew the iPad sales estimates. BusinessInsider was first to have the note that Munster put out explaining how his iPad predictions were twice what Apple actually sold because he overestimated the online pre-orders. Therefore, he is lowering his 2010 iPad sales estimate to 4.3 million units from 5.6 million:
Where We Went Wrong. We believe that we misgauged the online pre-orders received for the iPad starting on March 12. We originally estimated online-sales to be about 75% of all iPad sales; however, it appears that online pre-orders made up about 50% of the sales, resulting in a significant unit difference.
Deja Vu: Wrong On Launch Day, Right On Theme. We were overly optimistic on our launch day estimates of 600-700k, similar to the iPhone launch, when we were also too aggressive. With the original iPhone we estimated sales at launch of 500k and Apple sold 270k, which concerned investors about the long-term viability of the iPhone. In CY10, we estimate iPhone sales will be 36.0m and generate 39% of Apple’s revenue.
How the iPad launch compares to iPhone launches. Earlier today Apple announced the sale of 300k iPads on Sat. (4/3), the first day of sales. This is a sell-in unit number, including online pre-orders. The iPad launch (300k) was slightly ahead of launch of the original iPhone (270k on launch weekend). These launches are comparable, as they were both US-only, with similarly priced products. We note that Apple sold 1.12m iPhones in the first full quarter and we now estimate Apple will sell 1.3m iPads in the Jun-10 quarter (essentially a full quarter), also slightly ahead of the original iPhone launch.