|By Maureen O'Gara||
|November 5, 2012 05:45 AM EST||
First thing Monday morning Apple said that it sold three million iPad minis and fourth-generation iPads in the three days since Friday when the widgets went on sale.
The number is double the 1.5 million sold in the last three-day weekend in March when the third-generation iPad came out.
Apple didn’t say how many minis and how many 4Gen iPads but did claim that its stock of minis was virtually depleted.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that the company was “working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand.”
The company said that since demand for the iPad mini exceeded initial supplies although many pre-orders shipped to customers, some are scheduled to be shipped later this month.
Apple doesn’t count orders until they’re delivered. Its web site indicates shipping delays of two weeks.
The models available were strictly Wi-Fi. As Apple previously said it won’t deliver the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the widgets in the US for a few more weeks.
The iPad mini costs $329-$529 for the Wi-Fi model, and as much as $659 for models that connect to data networks. The updated 9.7-inch iPad with the more advanced chip starts at $499.
Besides the US, the gismos are available in 34 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and the UK. They hit places like mainland China later this year.
Apple closed two of its five New York stores and other sites in New Jersey because of the freak Hurricane Sandy that created massive flooding and power outages, crippling transportation. Despite the crisis, lines at its remaining stores were healthy.
Apple lost market share to competing tablets from Amazon and Samsung in the third quarter. IDC gave it 50.4% of the market, down from 65.5% in Q2. A lot of its loss was attributed to the expectation Apple would come out with the smaller iPad mini in late October.
IDC put total worldwide tablet shipments at 27.8 million units in Q3, up 50% year-over-year. Samsung shipped 5.1 million units for 18.4% of the market, the first time a rival accumulated so much share. Amazon’s market share increased from 4.8% to 9%.
The $329 entry price on the iPad mini may push price-sensitive consumers to buy cheaper models from the Android crew. Asus, which makes Google’s Nexus 7, claimed an 8.6% market share.
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