Did you get an iPad 2 after waiting in line Friday and Saturday? A prominent Apple analyst reported Sunday night New York City and Minneapolis Apple fans found only empty shelves. For those Apple tablets sold, the majority – 70 percent – went to new iPad owners.
“We believe this shows Apple is expanding its base of iPad users, which is critical to maintaining its early lead in the growing tablet market,” Piper Jaffrey analyst Gene Munster said. Munster, who directed surveys of 236 line-waiters, estimates Apple sold 400,000 to 500,000 iPad 2 units – almost all in one day. That compares with the 300,000 first-generation iPads sold over its first weekend in 2010.
Indeed, not a single iPad 2 could be found in the two markets by Saturday, suggesting the available stock was wiped out in one day. The analyst also came away with a surprising profile of just who is buying the tablet.
When the iPhone 4 appeared on shelves, nearly a quarter of the buyers were newcomers. That percentage has skyrocketed to 70 percent for persons picking up an iPad 2 this weekend. Additionally, while buyers of the original iPad had an overwhelming tilt toward current Apple owners (74 percent versus 26 percent for PC users), consumers interested in the iPad 2 were almost evenly split between Apple users (51 percent) and PC fans (49 percent.)
Munster also found more Kindle owners were in line for an iPad 2 (24 percent versus 13 percent for the first iPad) and fewer consumers viewed the iPad 2 as a primary reading device, down to 6 percent – a dramatic drop from the 19 percent the analyst found for the first iPad. That shift away from seeing the iPad as primarily a reading device was bolstered by survey findings showing nearly double the percent of respondents say they’ll use apps and games – up from 9 percent in 2010.
As for which iPad 2 configuration was most popular with early purchasers, the 3G version (although it cost $130 more than the Wi-Fi model) was most frequently picked. Also, 41 percent of iPad 2 buyers selected a 32GB model – up from 32 percent for the original tablet. The numbers could be skewed toward the high-end model because Apple reportedly sold out first of the 16GB version.
Another analyst Monday confirmed Munster’s findings. Deutsche Bank’s Chris Chris Whitmore called around 100 stores, including 50 Apple locations, 20 Best Buy and Wal-Mart retail outlets and some AT&T and Verizon shops.) The analyst found “a shocking 100% stock out rate across Apple/authorized retail stores just a few hours into the official launch Friday evening, contributing to what we believe was one of the company’s most successful product launches to date.”