Apple Confirms Sale of Three Million New iPads in Opening Weekend

Last week, the most optimistic of Wall Street analysts and mobile industry watchers predicted that Apple was capable of selling one million iPads in the first weekend of the refreshed product’s availability.

They were wrong. Apple didn’t sell one million new iPads. It sold three million.

Since its launch on Friday, March 16, the new iPad, which features Retina display, 4G LTE connectivity, A5X chip with quad-core graphics, a 5 megapixel iSight camera, and more bells and whistles than the first space shuttle, has sold three million units.

“The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold―the strongest iPad launch yet,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday.”

The new iPad is already available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands and will be available in 24 more countries starting at 8:00 a.m. local time this Friday, March 23 through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

Shares of AAPL closed Monday at $601.10. Many traders expect a new all-time high for the stock Tuesday in response to the iPad sales announcement late Monday.