Pre-orders have swamped Apple and forced it to push back its shipping date for some customers, leading analysts to expect high iPad sales throughout the year.
Apple has run out of its first week’s supply of iPads and the shipping date for US customers who pre-order wi-fi only iPads has been pushed back to April 12th, which analysts are taking as a sign that the device will sell better than originally expected.
While nobody knows how many devices Apple set aside for initial pre-orders, Mac News Network estimated that Apple pre-orders were at 240,000 in two weeks.
Apple was previously offering customers an in-store pickup option, which has been discontinued due to the high demand.
The iPad pre-order rate is thought to outpace original iPhone sales and will likely also be the most successful tablet or e-reader launch ever. While Amazon continues to stay mum on sales figures, Kindle sales for all of 2008 were pegged at 500,000 units and the Barnes and Noble e-reader, the Nook, reached the 500,000 mark five months after it was introduced in the US.
Fortune reported that estimates for 2010 iPad sales have skyrocketed and analysts expect that 8-10 million iPads will be shipped in 2010, up from previous estimates of 5 million.
Suppliers expect to ship 2.5 million units in the first three months alone, which is nearly triple the previous estimate of 750,000 that analysts originally thought would ship by the end of June.