Apple Sells 300,000 iPads On Opening Saturday, Stock Bar Gets Raised

Wow Apple, you've done it again. And by that, we mean "sold an awful lot of things to an awful lot of people." Even with launching during a holiday weekend, Apple somehow managed to sell over 300,000 iPads on the first day in the United States. That's a lot of devices, and even the original iPhone didn't have as many buyers on the first day. But honestly, it's not Apple that we're most excited about here.

But we'll still focus on them for a second: the 300,000 number includes deliveries of pre-ordered iPads to customers, deliveries to channel partners and sales at Apple Retail Stores. According to CEO Steve Jobs: "It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world -- it's going to be a game changer. iPad users, on average, downloaded more than three apps and close to one book within hours of unpacking their new iPad."

The company also noted 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, and now Canaccord Adams technology analyst Peter Misek has raised his price target on Apple to $300 from $250 or 20%. What's interesting is that weekend estimates had opening sales at 600,000 or 700,000, but even with real numbers coming in at just 50% of that, analysts are still going nuts. This report found that there were widespread sell-outs at Best Buy (these stores likely got fewer devices), but Apple store stock still seemed to be high.

As we mentioned earlier, this good news for Apple is actually good news for the industry. This basically proves that the tablet PC has found a home, even though this form factor was largely overlooked just a few years ago. We're eager to see the new tablets from all of these other companies in the coming months, which will hopefully push Apple to enable native multi-tasking to compete with the ones that will presumably be based on Windows 7 and/or Android. Still not excited about the future of touch computing? You should be.

Canaccord Adams technology analyst Peter Misek  raised his price target on Apple to $300 from $250 or 20%.

“Our survey and channel checks indicated widespread sell-outs at Best Buy stores, however Apple stores appeared to have more stock and thus continued to have inventory. We believe that around 700K iPads were sold so far, including 500K of pre-orders,” Mr. Misek said.

He added that, “We also took this opportunity to channel check Apple’s other product lines and, as a result, are adjusting our shipment estimates for iPads as well as iPhones and Macs.”

- iPad shipments for FY10E and FY11E go
to 3.7 million and 11.3 million from 1.2 million and 3.5 million
- For iPhones we are now forecasting 35.2 million (vs. 34.9
million) and 54.9 million (vs. 52.3 million) device sales in FY10 and
- For Macs, our estimates climb to 4.3 million (vs. 3.9 million) and
4.7 million (vs. 4.1 million) for FY10 and FY11 respectively.