Apple sells 3M new iPads in opening weekend

20 Mar 2012

Apple has confirmed a record-breaking first weekend of sales for its third-generation iPad, announcing 3 million sales following the tablet’s launch last Friday.

In a statement, Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, described the sales tally as a “blockbuster” and “the strongest iPad launch yet.”

The previous version of the device (iPad 2) was thought to have sold 1 million units in its first weekend, though the device was available initially only in the US. By contrast, the latest iPad launched simultaneously in 12 countries, including the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the UK. It will launch in a further 24 markets this Friday (23 March).

The new LTE-enabled iPad features a dramatically-improved new Retina display, Apple’s new A5X chip with “quad-core graphics,” and a 5 megapixel camera.

The launch was not without its hitches, however. Reports have emerged that the device can overheat after being used for a relatively short time, leading to error messages. It is thought that the issue could be linked to the power requirements of the new display.

Yesterday, Apple announced it will spend US$45 billion of its almost US$100 billion cash pile over the next three years on shareholder dividends and a US$10 billion share buyback programme.