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13 March, 2012

Apple Will Sell 1 Million iPads on Launch Day

Analyst: Apple Will Sell 1 Million iPads on Launch Day
By Peter Pachal For MASHABLE

The new iPad isn’t even out yet, but that’s not stopping people from trying to guess how big a hit it will be. One industry analyst estimates it’ll best the original iPad launch by more than a factor of three.

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster said in a note to investors today that he expects Apple to sell at least 1 million iPads on the first day of release, Friday, March 16, AppleInsider reports. When Apple debuted the original iPad, the company said it sold 300,000 units on launch day. Apple never gave a day-one figure for the iPad 2, citing supply-chain difficulties.

Munster compared the coming launch of the third-generation iPad to the launch of the iPhone 4 in 2010. Since the launch of the first iPad, Apple has sold 55 million iPads total. When the iPhone 4 was poised to debut — in just five countries — Apple had sold 50 million iPhones worldwide. Apple said sales of the iPhone 4 numbered 1.7 million in the first three days.

“Given the new iPad will be sold in 12 countries on 3/16,” Munster wrote. “We are confident the company will sell over 1 (million) on launch day.”

SEE ALSO: How Windows 8 Tablets Could Seriously Challenge the iPad
The iPhone, of course, has gone on to capture huge swaths of the global mobile market, with Apple selling 37 million iPhones in the last quarter alone, the same quarter of the launch of the iPhone 4S.

Will the iPad achieve similar victories among tablets? Without a serious competitor, it looks like the iPad’s success is limited only by the size of the tablet market, which is growing steadily. Demand for the new model is so great, that ship dates have been pushed back to next week. Some studies have said the iPad will continue to dominate the tablet market until at least 2015.

Are you planning on buying the new iPad? What persuaded you? Let us know in the comments.

BONUS: Meet Apple’s New iPad

1. Retina Display
The most touted feature of the new iPad is its ultra-high-resolution "retina" display, which clocks in at 2,048 x 1,536 pixels -- a million more pixels than a 1080p HDTV. Thanks to the extra pixels and the iPad's new graphics processor, the screen has 44% better color saturation. The screen's pixels are so small, Apple says it had to change the design of the LCD itself to elevate the pixels above the circuitry to prevent distortion. Apple calls it the best display ever made for a mobile device, and -- from the specs -- it's hard to disagree.

2. A5X Processor
To drive those millions of pixels in the retina display with the same fluidity of previous iPads, the new model features an upgraded processor, called the A5X. It's a dual-core processor, though it features quad-core graphics. Full specs aren't known yet, but benchmarks and teardowns revealed the previous A5 chip (found in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2) was a 1GHz processor. The new one is likely somewhere between 1 and 1.5 GHz.

3. iSight Camera
Apple upgraded the iPad's camera to capture 5-megapixel still pictures and 1080p video (at 30 frames per second), though that's still less than the iPhone 4S's 8MP camera. However, megapixels aren't the most important thing about a camera. The backside-illuminated sensor, large f/2.4 aperture and automatic image stabilization will improve the quality of your photos and videos, especially in low light. However, the front-facing camera got no love, remaining at VGA resolution.

4. LTE Models
Apple now offers different models of the iPad that can connect to the 4G LTE networks of both AT&T and Verizon. Since the two carriers use different bands for LTE, the models aren't identical, so don't think you'll be able to switch at will. The pricing plans vary, too, but both carriers offer it month-to-month -- no contracts. Either LTE model offers connection to 3G networks when you take your iPad abroad, though -- a feature previously limited to the AT&T version.

5. Dictation
There's no Siri on board the new iPad, but Apple added a dictation option, accessible via a dedicated button on the virtual keyboard. You can use the new dictation feature to send a text message, search the web or write a note. Apple says it'll even work with third-party apps, letting you tweet or post to Facebook just by speaking.

6. AirPlay Video Streaming at 1080p*
Apple upgraded the iPad's ability to use AirPlay streaming -- that is, transmitting video to the Apple TV wirelessly -- to 1080p. That makes complete sense, since the Apple TV just got an upgrade to 1080p. This doesn't appear to be complete mirroring, however, since Apple specifies that "AirPlay Mirroring" is only done at 720p (as opposed to "AirPlay video streaming"). Both the iPad and the iPad 2 will mirror to the new Apple TV at 1080p resolution over a hard-wire connection.
*This item was corrected after reviewing Apple's spec sheet in more detail.

7. Bluetooth 4.0
Upgrading the iPad to Bluetooth 4.0 is helpful in a number of ways. Thanks to its ability to work with the newer low-power Bluetooth devices, it'll allow accessory manufacturers to build things like keyboards that you won't need to recharge for months or even years. Bluetooth 4.0 will also let the iPad interact with wearable devices like medical sensors, gathering data like heartbeat or blood sugar level and relaying it to medical personnel when needed.

8. Much Bigger Battery
All these great new features -- especially the retina display -- demand more power, yet the new iPad has the exact same battery life as the previous model. That's because it has a brand-new battery, rated at 42.5 watt-hours, almost double the previous model's 25 watt-hours. It appears, though, Apple hasn't had a breakthrough in battery storage, since leaks prior to the event showed the battery is simply physically much larger.

9. Thicker Design
Because of all the new radios, layers and gizmos in the latest iPad, it's actually bigger than before. The new iPad is 0.37 inches thick, or 0.03 inches thicker than the iPad 2, which was 0.34 inches. It's heavier, too: 1.44 pounds to 1.33 before. The bigger design apparently doesn't affect Smart Covers, and it's still smaller than the first iPad, which was 0.5 inches thick and 1.5 pounds. Still, the heftier new iPad is interesting proof that Apple will compromise on design for performance -- albeit only slightly.

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