Blog Post

Weekend Box Office: iPad vs. the iPhone 3G

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Love it or hate it, it’s hard not to be astonished by the Hollywood blockbuster-style opening day enjoyed by the iPad. Apple (s AAPL) just announced that it sold 300,000 of the devices. At a base price of $499 (for the 16 GB model), that translates into some $150 million on day one.

Add to the fact that Apple says nearly a million apps and 250,000 e-books were downloaded — we’re looking at a nice little chunk of change here. Some analysts estimated that Apple would  sell more than 600,000  iPads over the weekend. Clearly that didn’t happen. From the Apple release:

Apple today announced that it sold over 300,000 iPads in the US as of midnight Saturday, April 3. These sales included deliveries of pre-ordered iPads to customers, deliveries to channel partners and sales at Apple Retail Stores. Apple also announced that iPad users downloaded over one million apps from Apple’s App Store and over 250,000 ebooks from its iBookstore during the first day. “It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world — it’s going to be a game changer,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad users, on average, downloaded more than three apps and close to one book within hours of unpacking their new iPad.” (Apple Press Release).

In comparison, Apple sold just over 250,000 units during the first weekend the iPhone became available in July 2007. In July 2008, when the 3G iPhone first launched, Apple sold 1 million of those phones the first weekend, and folks downloaded 10 million apps from what was then the four-day-old App Store. That’s an average of 10 apps per phone as compared with 3.3 apps for the iPad, although we have had fewer days of sales to measure the success of the iPad.

However, the iPad is supposed to sell 7.1 million units worldwide in 2010, according to research firm iSuppli, whereas our GigaOM Pro analysts estimate that the conservative sales of the device will be around 6.1 million. (Forecast from GigaOM Pro: Tablet App Sales to Hit $8 Billion by 2015.)

23 Responses to “Weekend Box Office: iPad vs. the iPhone 3G”

  1. Any firm I ever worked within would be comparing sales iPad v. iPhone, not anything after the acceptance factor of the iPhone was established.

    Then, as others have mentioned, we would factor in breadth of distribution, etc..

    Apples and apples…

  2. Ken Jackson

    Sales of the iPad, while good for any other device, I think were actually somewhat disappointing. People had estimated 200,000+ were sold presale. Now they’re saying just 300,000 including presale and sold to the channel.

    For most any other device, this would be a great number. But given the hype of the iPad, I think the first 500,000 sales are guaranteed. The Apple diehards will get this, even if it was just the cardboard box. I think the real question is how quickly it hits 2M. And given that it only opened with 300,000, I think it will move much more slowly than people anticipate.

    Will it be an AppleTV flop? No. I think it will be more like some of the iPod Nanos. Sure some people will have them, but they won’t change the game nor be nearly as pervasive as the iPhone.

    I also do think people are doing more of a wait and see game. They want to see what tablets everyone else comes out with too.

  3. Where I live unemployment is 12.5% and the Apple store was packed. Not iphone launch packed, but very packed. I think the fact they can generate that much interest and sales in this economic environment is quite astonishing. I assure you every other store in that mall was green with envy.

  4. HD Boy

    From what I read, ONE analyst revised his sales prediction to 700,000 units, not “some analysts.” You’re exaggerating the facts. I predict this: at the end of April, we’ll learn that COMBINED first day sales of the iPad WiFi and 3G/WiFi models actually will be close to 700,000 units. Apple split the launch dates of the two models, so you’ll have to combine the first-day sales for each to arrive at an accurate first-day sales figure for the iPad.

  5. Kamal Sukhija

    I would say the iPhone sales were more impressive. iPhone was a more expensive item – required a commitment of more than $80 per month for 24 months, where as for iPad its just one time cost (talking about the current wifi model available).

    The Sales are OK not great. The sales after the first month will indicate how this product will do. We need some competition from the Windows platform…

    • I thought that the subscriptions were lower for the original iPhone than they are/were for iPhone 3G and 3GS. If I am wrong please provide a source.
      Two, what is the average price for the iPadd, I would bet not that different than the iPhones.
      Three, Wifi is not Free (at least at you own home).
      Four, the market for iPhone measured in tens if not hundreds of millions, but less than 5 million for the iPad.
      Lastly, the iPad is not subsidized, what do you think will happen when it is subsidize. This thing is HOT!

      • sfmitch

        The original iPhone was voice minutes + $20 for data that included your first 200 text messages.

        The iPhone 3G was voice minutes + $30 for data that did NOT include any text messages. Add in $5 for the same 200 text messages.

        So, the AT&T data rates went up by $15 between original iPhone and 3G. The voice portion stayed the same.

        Source = my phone bills (facts) + my hazy recollection (it’s all coming back to me)

        I pay $5 less each month (saved $20 for voice and got hit with $15 extra in data) because I reduce my voice plan for 900 to 450 anytime minutes with rollover. I wound up with thousands of rollover minutes and decided I was just throwing money away each month.

  6. It might be helpful to point out the iPhone 3G launched simultaneously in 20+ countries while the iPad was a US only launch like the original iPhone. Apple never sold 1 million iPhones in the U.S. On launch day either.

    Seems pretty obvious but so far all the major blogs are failing to point this out.

  7. So the iPad has outsold the Pre, the Droid and Nexus One (and many other inconsequential Android phones). Smartphones with clear use cases, a huge existing market and reduced (+/- $200.00) entry prices, amazing! Now, would the haters shut up. The thing is an amazing success! Over 300,000 units in less that 24 hrs.
    The iPad will sell over a million units in less that 74 days, kicking Droid’s ass in the process. The iPad is going to be huge, cannot wait to get mine.

  8. sfmitch

    “In comparison, Apple sold just over 250,000 units during the first weekend iPhone became available in July 2007”

    This is not accurate.

    The only number that Apple has released is that 270,000 iPhone were sold on Friday (started selling at 6PM) and Saturday. Sunday sales were never released. Friday & Saturday (June 29 & June 30) just happened to be the final 2 days of the fiscal quarter. If sales were extrapolated then 400,000 phones would have been sold that weekend. But, nobody knows.

    Very curious that Apple would launch on a Saturday before all retail stores were to be closed the next day. If Apple was concerned with coming up with a blockbuster first weekend sales figure, I would imagine they would have picked a different weekend (well, it was delayed – maybe, this was plan B).