1M Apple iPads Now Fueling iTunes App Store Downloads

Apple said today it’s sold a million iPad devices in just 28 days — less than half time time it took to sell the same amount of iPhone handsets in 2007 (74 days). The company also said that iPad owners have downloaded more than 12 million applications from the iTunes App Store — there are currently some 5,000 software titles specific to the iPad — and 1.5 million e-books from the iBookstore. The total sales numbers were bolstered by this weekend’s U.S. release of the iPad 3G model, which includes a monthly, no-contract wireless broadband option on AT&T’s network, with some analysts estimating 300,000 3G devices sold.

Customers pay $130 extra for the new iPad 3G model, so based on those estimates, Apple has already taken in an additional $39 million. The premium version also adds a 3G radio, a microSIM slot and GPS functionality. The Wi-Fi version provides location functionality as well, and although I find it quite usable, it only works when in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot.

While the total number of iPad tablets sold is impressive, the growth in customer engagement is equally so. In the first two days following the release of the WiFi-only iPad, Apple reported one million app and 250,000 e-book downloads. Today, less than four weeks later, app downloads are up by a factor of 12, e-book downloads have increased nearly six-fold and the number of applications for the iPad already exceeds the number of titles in the webOS Application Catalog for Palm’s — soon to be HP’s — smartphones. Apple hasn’t disclosed how many apps or e-books were paid for vs. those that were downloaded for free, but with these growth rates, it’s clear the App Store economy is alive and well in Cupertino.

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