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The iPad is selling like iHotcakes.
Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) evolutionary -- if not outright revolutionary -- device continues to sell briskly. After selling a million units in its first month on the market, the pace continues. Apple revealed yesterday that it has now sold 2 million iPads, just days shy of completing its second month on the market.
To be fair, Apple did begin selling the device in certain international markets over the weekend. Yet this is still an impressive figure. We knew early adopters would step up to the plate in April, since Apple has a loyal and growing fan base. However, success in May, both domestically and abroad, wouldn't have been possible if the iPad had disappointed its first wave of buyers.
Weeks before the iPad hit the market, Apple's sales target was reportedly to ship an ambitious 10 million units during the 2010 calendar year. Analysts shook their heads, with folks from the likes of Kaufman Brothers and Needham figuring that Apple would be lucky if it moved half that many.
These days, the thought of moving 10 million iPads over nine months doesn't seem so outrageous, and analysts are falling over themselves to quickly revise targets upward. New international markets are coming online during what could have been a summer lull, and the device is sure to be the big-ticket item of choice during the holidays. Back-to-school season may deliver a little nibble, too.
Apple's press release claims that there are now 5,000 iPad-specific applications available for the device. Perhaps more importantly, most of the existing 200,000 App Store entries for the iPhone and iPod touch also work seamlessly with the iPad.
Yet there are challenges ahead. The $499 starting price means there won't be an iPad in every Christmas stocking, although the device is definitely going to eat into netbook sales. Sony (NYSE: SNE ) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) have priced their video-game consoles well below Apple's price points, but they, too, may feel the holiday pinch as consumers reorient their leisure time and spending dollars.
Apple won't have the tablet game to itself for long, either. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) is simply repositioning its Slate. Dell (Nasdaq: DELL ) is going smaller with its Streak. Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) has revealed that it's working with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) on a tablet.
That kind of impending competition would send most companies curling up into fetal positions and sucking their thumbs. But this is Apple. Rival MP3 players didn't slow down the iPod, and new smartphone handsets have done little to slow down the iPhone.
The iPad will continue to sell well, even though now the pressure is now on Apple to see whether it can issue a "3 million iPads sold" press release by month's end.
Are you one of the 2 million iPad owners? Have you decided not to buy one? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.