Make us your home page
Instagram

Apple's iPad gets off to fast start, but future is uncertain

A customer at an Apple store in San Francisco celebrates as one of the first to buy an iPad as it went on sale Saturday.

Associated Press

A customer at an Apple store in San Francisco celebrates as one of the first to buy an iPad as it went on sale Saturday.

LOS ANGELES — For Apple and its iPad, the easy part is over.

After months of marketing hype that had fans grabbing their wallets over the weekend, Apple announced Monday that it sold more than 300,000 of its new tablet computers Saturday — a one-day total that topped the 2007 debut sales tallies for the original iPhone.

The company also said that, as of 12:01 a.m. Sunday, users had downloaded more than 1 million applications — the small programs users can add to their devices — and nearly 250,000 ebooks from the company's iBookstore.

Yet, given the country's economic malaise and the iPad's hefty price tag, analysts warned that questions linger as to when — or if — there will be similar mass market adoption of the tablet as there has been of Apple's blockbuster iPod and iPhone devices. (The iPhone 3GS sold 1 million units in its first three days last year.)

They said the initial customers would be dominated by early adopters or Apple enthusiasts, who might be more forgiving of kinks that the company may not have worked out.

"Apple reached first base," said Francis Sideco, an analyst at iSuppli Corp., an El Segundo, Calif., research firm. Now, he added, "they've got to go get everyone else."

Some prospective buyers may be waiting until the end of the month for the 3G version of the iPad, which will cost up to $829, but allow consumers to use the device more like a smart phone. That could pose a problem down the road for Apple, say analysts who point out that the company must walk a careful line with its iPad to ensure the device doesn't eat into sales of its popular line of laptops or iPhone.

But none of those concerns tempered Apple executives' glee at the consumer turnout.

"It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world," chief executive Steve Jobs said in a statement. "It's going to be a game-changer."

Nearly 3,300 apps specifically developed for the iPad are available so far, a third of them games, according to Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets.

More apps, he said, are sure to come. "As long as the iPad keeps selling, you're going to see a lot more innovation on this platform." The apps market for the iPhone and iPod Touch together tops $1 billion in annual sales.

Fans said they were happy, even giddy, after their purchase. Aimee Willis of West Hollywood had her husband playing babysitter most of the weekend so she could play with her new toy.

"It's completely mind-blowing and insane," Willis said.

But Apple also took some licks: At least one fan tried to tap into the iPad mania on YouTube. Justin Kockott uploaded a video Sunday of himself and friends brutally destroying the $499 device with a baseball bat. Less than 24 hours later, it had been viewed 280,000 times.

Apple's iPad gets off to fast start, but future is uncertain 04/05/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 5, 2010 8:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Los Angeles Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]