Apple 2.0

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Day 1 estimate: 120,000 iPads sold

March 13, 2010: 10:58 AM ET

A snapshot of who's buying what based on a sample of first-day pre-orders

Click to enlarge. Source: AAPL Sanity

The team at Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board have completed their initial analysis of pre-orders for the iPad tablet computer.

Apple (AAPL) began taking orders on Friday for delivery starting April 3.

Based on a sampling of 99 orders (for 110 iPads) over 19.5 hours, and not counting units that were reserved but not ordered, the Sanity team estimates:

  • Nearly 120,000 iPads sold. Their math: 124,596 (orders of all Apple products Friday) minus 16,500 (the average number of online orders on a normal day) times 1.11 (the average number of iPads ordered per customer) equals 119,987 iPads.
  • Wi-Fi over Wi-Fi+3G. Customers preferred the cheaper (and available April 3) Wi-Fi-only iPad over the Wi-Fi plus 3G model (due out at the end of April) by roughly two to one.
  • 16, 32 and 64GB iPads are equally popular. Pre-orders were almost evenly split among the 16, 32 and 64 GB models, with a slight preference for the least-expensive 16 GB model, which starts at $499, and the most-expensive 64GB, which starts at $699 and can run as high as $829 (AT&T charges not included).

"Apple has been able to generate over $75 million in revenue in one day on a product that 99.9% of purchasers haven't touched or for that matter, even seen in person," said Victor Castroll, an analyst with Valcent Financial Group. "And, we're still three weeks away. That is amazing."

Castroll was one of two AAPL Sanity members who monitored the order numbers as they flowed in, but he credits Deagol -- a blogger-investor whose predictions of Apple's earnings are consistently more accurate than the Street's -- with doing the heaving lifting. You can follow Deagol's work at Deagol's AAPL Model.

Estimates of the number of iPads Apple will have manufactured by April range from a high of 1 million to a low of 300,000.

If you want to contribute to the Sanity spreadsheet, send your information to ipadsales10@gmail.com. Include your order number with the last three digits Xed out, the number of iPads you ordered, the order time, time zone, memory capacity and whether your iPad is Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + 3G.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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