The first estimates for the iPad opening weekend pre-orders topped out at around 152,000. Those numbers were far from staggering, but they still represented a substantial success. Now The Street alleges that those numbers are much lower than the actual sales. They have word from an un-named "industry analyst" that actual iPad sales are much higher than first speculated.
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This analyst claims to be monitoring the sales data on her own. Since Apple itself hasn't disclosed their numbers, we have no "official" information to go by. We've known from the start that the earlier estimates didn't take into account in-store orders, only online pre-sales.
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The iPad's real first test will come in the weeks after the WiFi only version ships out. Depending on what customers and reviewers say about them, we'll either see a rapid leap in sales or a tapering off. Apple's competitor's could also throw a wrench into the iPad's success by releasing competing products at the same time. Apple doesn't have the early lead on the tablet market that they did on the smartphone market.