Over 300,000 iPads Sold on Launch Date

Apple's much-anticipated iPad tablet PC device drew big crowds and lines across the country for its launch at stores nationwide Saturday, drawing comparisons to the launch of the iPhone when it hit stores in 2007.
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(Apple iPad story updated with Apple's weekend sales figures)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple's (AAPL) - Get Report much-anticipated iPad tablet PC device drew big crowds and long lines across the country upon its launch at stores nationwide Saturday, drawing comparisons to the launch of the iPhone when it hit stores in 2007. iPads are sold at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up outside Apple Stores and some Best Buys to be among the first to buy one as sales started at 9 a.m. Saturday in each time zone

However, the crowds and lines eventually died down and the iPad was sold out at very few stores, according to the

Wall Street Journal.

Apple said that it sold more than 300,000 iPads on Saturday, including pre-orders of the device, exceeding the debut weekend projections of some Wall Street analysts, who had expected sales of 250,000 to 350,000 units over the weekend, according to

Reuters.

Apple said that more than one million applications from its app store and more than 250,000 e-books were downloaded by users.

Still, lines were longer than expected by some analysts and that prompted Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster to raise the analyst's 2010 projection to 5.5 million units from 2.8 million units, while Forrester Research was a bit more pessimistic, projecting first-year sales of 3 million units. The

Journal

attributes the varying projections to the fact that people are buying the iPad because they want it, not because they need it, as they do a cell phone or computer.

The

Associated Press

reports that many of these first-generation iPad buyers said that they will get a better sense of what they will use the difficult-to-define iPad for only after they've had it for a while.

Apple stock is up 0.4% to $236.90 in Monday morning trading.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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