iPad insanity as Apple takes early orders for new form factor

13 Mar 2010

As it emerges Apple has begun taking early orders for its eponymous iPad, estimates are figuring orders at the rate of 20,000 per hour are being sustained.

This will no doubt create enormous supply chain problems for Apple, which must be shocked to the core by the reaction. That’s the price of success, eh?

The figure is notional, of course, but estimated by Andrew Erlichson, CEO and co-founder of Phanfare, who bases the rate on trying to buy two of the devices today.

In his company blog he wrote: “We just bought two iPads, about 30 minutes apart. Our order IDs are 10,000 apart. Assuming those order IDs are sequential, and they appear to be, then Apple is selling 20,000 iPads per hour.

“Assuming most orders are for the US$499 model, and that people are only buying one per order, that means Apple is selling US$10m/hour. Of course that is not sustainable, but if they did it for a year, it would be $87.6bn.

“Now, of course, we can’t be sure every order was for an iPad. Apple does sell other stuff. But at 8.30am on the east coast, my guess is that most of the orders were for iPads.

“This also means that Apple will sell out of all devices built in the initial manufacturing run sometime this week,” Erlichson said.

iPad’s US release date

Apple announced today that the iPad will be available in the US on Saturday, 3 April for Wi-Fi models and in late April for Wi-Fi + 3G models. In addition, all models of iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK in late April.

Beginning 12 March, US customers were able to pre-order both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G models from Apple’s online store or reserve a Wi-Fi model to pick up on Saturday, 3 April, at an Apple retail store.

“iPad is something completely new,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO and co-founder.

“We’re excited for customers to get their hands on this magical and revolutionary product and connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before,” Jobs said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: The Apple iPad

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years