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Apple iPad Sales Pass 1 Million Mark; iBooks Not Flying Off Shelves

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Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs is crowing this morning about breaking the one million mark with iPad in 28 days — less than half the time it took for the iPhone to achieve the same feat. At the same time, the company announces some usage stats as of April 30: 1.5 million iBooks downloaded (no mention of actual iBook Store sales) and more than 12 million apps downloaded (again, no mention of actual sales.) Apple says more than 5,000 new apps have been developed for iPad; it’s not clear whether that number includes iPhone apps that have been optimized to take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen and more vivid graphics.

The iBook number seems impressive at first glance: more than 1.5 million. A couple of points to consider, though:

— Apple reported 250,000 downloads the first day, when 300,000 iPads were delivered. On April 8, the company reported 600,000 downloads and 450,000 iPads. The number of downloads more than doubled in the first week. It took the next three weeks to add 900,000 downloads, still on a triple-digit pace but the increases are pacing with device sales. We have no sense of how much the iBook is catching for repeat downloads or sales. (We also don’t know if it is adding sales or replacing them but that’s more of an e-book marketplace issue than an Apple one for now.) Then again, at least Apple is providing something beyond the number of titles available — the only stat Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) routinely proivides about the Kindle.

— That’s an average of roughly 1.5 book downloads per device, better than the first day but not as dramatic as 1.5 million sounds overall. It’s not clear how many books that is per iBooks download; the app doesn’t come pre-installed, although Apple has said the figure doesn’t include the free Winnie-the-Pooh download offered with the app.

Milestone unit: The milestone unit was sold Friday, the day Apple released the 3G+WiFi version of its new tablet; including weekend sales, the number should be past one million. That doesn’t mean that many iPads are in circulation; the company doesn’t say whether the figure takes returns into account not does it give any number for returns.

8 Responses to “Apple iPad Sales Pass 1 Million Mark; iBooks Not Flying Off Shelves”

  1. In an April 1 research note, the company was again immensely positive about the iPad, encouraging investors to break out their wallets for both Apple stock and iPad content.

    Broadpoint AmTech pointed out that iPad owners will be able to spend money on magazines, including Conde Nast’s Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair and Glamour and Hearst’s Esquire and Men’s Health; textbooks from McGraw-Hill, Kaplan and others; and newspapers, including the New York Times, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.

  2. There’s another factor to consider as well: the relatively small size of the iBooks store. I have yet to buy a book there because searches for several new books I’m interested in turned up nothing, while in most cases these books are available on the Kindle. And, the Kindle app for the iPad is excellent: it’s a better reading experience than the actual Kindle hardware. I’m wondering if I’ll ever buy an iBooks title at this rate…

  3. contentnext

    Have to agree on the file management issue. If Apple ever plans to have this become something that replaces more mainstream computers it needs some better way to share files among apps (and other computers). As it is now it’s ridiculously clunky and most definitely not thought out in the usual Apple fashion. How that’ll look I’m not sure but the current system is just so bad it’s laughable really.

    That said despite saying I wouldn’t get the first generation iPad I did get one. And after having it a few weeks I can say it’s definitely useful as a consumption device. And talk about the ultimate bed and couch computer.

    Like Staci though, I’m not impressed with iBooks in it’s current iteration though which is sad. The font selection is especially poorly thought out, the only font that’s truly readable is Palatino while the other’s are a joke and might as well not be choices. In all of the cases Georgia and other screen fonts would have made much more sense.

  4. youdontknowyourself

    You will either love it or hate it depending on what you use it for. If you like fast zippy web browsing and ereading I think it’s great. If you want to use it for different apps for business you will want to kill yourself.

    The DOCUMENT MANAGMENT IS HORRRRRRRRRIBBBBLLEEEE. I came on this blog just to complain because of how frustrated I am. You have every app having it’s own way to sync–are you a server, using it over http, do I need to use a browser? a proprietary app? oh how do I upload it back? maybe it’s Itunes, nope? Want to use one doc with two different apps, not possible!

    I do like the iPad I do, but whoever at apple thought that it was a good idea to use the iPhone os without adding any file managment whatsoever should be fired.

  5. rattyuk

    Staci, the point being is that if they shipped 300,000 units on Friday then that is 300,000 units that were not able to purchase any books until the 28th day. so the figure is more like 2:1 if indeed everyone who owns an iPad is using it as an ebook reader.

    Secondly the iPad is not exclusively an ebook reader. It has many other functions. While some people might be buying it instead of the kindle others may be using it to watch ABC or Netflix.

    Thirdly if people are switching from Kindle they most certainly have unread books in their Kindle app so this also may discourage them from buying.

    @James. The books themselves are not visible at all in iTunes. You can only see them from within the iBook Application. The problem is that people are complaining about iTunes being too big and bloaty as it is. IBooks is the only place you can buy them at present because that is also the only way you can consume them.

  6. JamesKatt

    The main problem for iBooks is that the Books, themselves, are not highly visible in iTunes.

    I would have thought that Apple would make a special section in iTunes called “Books” – right next to the audiobook section or create a section called “Books” which contains both eBooks and audiobooks. This way, the books would be much more visible for a one-click sale.

    But no. One has to purchase the iBooks app and search for books there. This makes the process of book sales much more cumbersome.

    It would be far easier to sell the books through iTunes itself. This would make book sales as easy as browsing through Amazon’s site.

  7. rattyuk

    I am not too sure here… iPad has been out for a month and on friday they hit the 1 million mark and yet you are doing the math of 1 million users but 1.5 million books. I don’t know about you but how many books do you read in a month? You have to own the product before you buy books for it. So if they counted the sales on friday there is a good chance that the books sales haven’t gone through yet.

    But hey when you use words like “crowing” we know exactly where you are coming from Staci.

    • Staci D. Kramer

      @rattyuk The download/purchase stats reported by Apple for day 1
      reflected single-day downloads and purchases; these stats reflect the
      first 28 days. They probably did deliver more downloads over the
      weekend and they’ll continue to — but, based on their own numbers,
      the pace on e-books slowed down after the first week. It will be
      interesting to see how 3G access affects that.

      On the rest, I’m not sure you can have any clue about where I’m coming
      from if those are your measures. I own an iPhones and an iPad
      (purchased on day 1) — and I don’t view “crowing” as a negative term.