Jobs well done as 2m iPADS sold

Steve Dinneen
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APPLE’S iPad sales continued their extraordinary pace yesterday when the firm announced it had shifted more than 2m units.

The tablet device, which became available in the UK on Friday, has smashed all predictions, becoming an instant hit that has dwarfed even the sales of the landmark iPod and iPhone.

The iPod sold just 125,000 units during its first two months on sale, despite being released in the run-up to Christmas. The iPhone sold around 820,000 in the same time.

Sales of iPads are expected to continue to grow at a ferocious pace after the second phase of its global release last week. As well as the UK it is now available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland. A further nine countries are lined up to receive the device in July, including Mexico, Austria and Ireland.

Sales have been hampered by a chronic shortage of the units in its native US. Apple stores across the country have been sold-out of the must-have gadget since its release as the company struggles to honour the record number of pre-orders logged.

Analysts are now expecting global sales to hit the 8m mark this year, with around 43 per cent – or 3.4m – of these outside the US. France is expected to be the second biggest market, with more than 800,000 sales and the UK third with just under 600,000.

The blistering pace puts the iPad in contention to be the quickest selling gadget of all time. However, it will have to up its game even further to catch up with Motorola’s groundbreaking Razr mobile phone, which averaged 2.7m sales a month during its first 18 months on sale.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said yesterday: “Customers around the world are experiencing the magic of iPad, and seem to be loving it as much as we do. We appreciate their patience, and are working hard to build enough iPads for everyone.”

The buzz surrounding the iPad helped Apple rocket past Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable technology stock last week – a remarkable turnaround for a firm almost out of business in the 1990s.