Before Steve Jobs moved into the details of iPhone OS 4.0 today, he paused to share some of the positive news about the iPad release from last weekend. Apple sold quite a few iPads on launch day and customers have responded to the device by downloading lots of apps and e-books.
iPad By the Numbers
300,000 iPads were sold on the Saturday and as of today, 450,000 have been sold. For comparison the original iPhone sold 250,000 units on opening weekend in June of 2007. About 1 million units of the iPhone 3G were sold in July 2008 when that revision launched.
The iPad launch compares very well to the original iPhone. The two devices are also close in that they had US-only launches and really mapped out a new category for Apple. The comparison to the 3G launch will only be interesting when the next revision of the iPad is launched simultaneously in several countries.
Customers were also quick to embrace iPad specific apps and books. About 1 million iPad apps were downloaded on the first day. 3.5 million have been downloaded through today (about 7.8 apps per iPad). This number is a bit higher than I expected. Every iPad is prompted to download iBooks, so that bumps the number a bit.
I wonder if Apple is including Universal Apps (contains both iPhone and iPad binaries) that iPhone users have downloaded but have not installed on an iPad. Technically, I am not sure there is a way for Apple to distinguish when a user downloads an app with iTunes so I suspect these numbers are artificially inflated by iBooks and Universal apps.
Books have also been a big success. 250,000 books were downloaded on the first day, and 600,000 books (1.3 books per iPad) have been downloaded through today. If the bundled Winnie the Pooh book is included in those numbers, it is less impressive. Since Winnie the Pooh is not actually downloaded, I would guess that these numbers represent additional books downloaded through the store, but the other caveat would be the free samples for paid books. Those might bump the numbers slightly. With all the free books available through the Gutenberg Project I would have expected a higher number per iPad.
I know I have downloaded 6 books myself (2 paid). It would be really interesting to see the usage patterns here. I suspect that there is a small number of people that have downloaded 5-10 books and a large number that has not downloaded any.
While some of the usage numbers for downloads are a bit of a mixed bag, the number of iPads sold is impressive, especially for a new device category. I suspect that the iBooks downloaded will increase even further as iPhone users pick up the app in iPhone OS 4.0.