After Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted Monday morning about a “record weekend” for sales of the new iPad, Apple(s AAPL) this afternoon is confirming just how good of a weekend it was. Since the first iPads went on sale Friday morning, 3 million tablets have been sold, according to Apple.
That’s the same number of iPads Apple sold in the first 80 days after the original iPad went on sale in 2010. So it’s no surprise that in a press release Monday Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller called this weekend’s launch “the strongest iPad launch yet.” It should be noted that we don’t know how much better this iPad launch was compared to the first weekend sales of iPad 2, though — Apple didn’t release those numbers last year.
Through the end of December 2011, Apple had sold 55 million of its touchscreen tablets.
Earlier Monday AT&T(s T) said it set “a new single-day record for both iPad sales and activations on Friday.” Verizon(s VZ)(s VOD), Apple’s other official 4G carrier for the new iPad in the U.S., said that it was “quite pleased” with weekend sales of the device, which it described as “brisk.”