Apple 2.0

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About those 19 million iPads

April 20, 2011: 11:57 AM ET

According to one analyst, Apple legal didn't include iPad 2s in its Samsung complaint

Source: This is my next

"By March 2011, Apple sold more than 19 million iPads."

That's the language Apple's (AAPL) legal team used in the complaint filed Monday against Samsung. (See This is my next for the document.)

This caused some confusion among Apple watchers, because as of Dec. 25, 2010, Apple had sold a total of 14,789,000 iPads. The difference -- about 4.2 million iPads -- is nearly a million fewer iPads than any analyst's estimate. (The consensus among the ones we polled was 6.4 million.) Was Apple signaling trouble on the tablet front? That's how some interpreted it.

"Apple May Jave Just Pre-Announced Extremely Weak iPad Shipments," read the headline in Silicon Alley Insider.

One explanation put forward for the low number was that the lawyers were referring to the beginning of March, not the end, which would give the company a few weeks to make up those missing sales.

But in a note to clients issued Wednesday, Jeffries' Peter Misek offers a more optimistic assessment.

"We believe [the 19 million] only refers to the original iPad. Given iPad 2 went on sale on March 11, we believe they sold 2M to 3M iPad 2s in the first two weeks, which implies a 6.2M to 7.2M iPad number with the midpoint below our 7M estimate."

Also on Fortune.com:

[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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