Apple To Sell 1.2 Million New iPad On Opening Day & 66 Million iPads This Year: Analysts

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Apple lovers are just few hours away from getting their beloved new iPad, when Apple’s brick-and-mortar retail stores shall open early on 16th March, 2012 to sell the third generation iPad in 10 different markets, the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and Britain.

Each Apple store is set to open at 8 a.m. local time instead of the usual 10 or 11 a.m start. At many stores, iPad consumers are already lining up outside to get the hot new tablet on day one of availability.

Apple said the iPad will be sold in the U.S. at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart, in addition to Apple’s own stores. The basic iPad will retail for $499 to $699, depending on the amount of storage. Models capable of accessing the 4G cellular network will cost $629 to $829. Customers who want 4G models will have to choose either AT&T or Verizon Wireless in the U.S. ahead of time.

The Apple Inc is seeing record pre-orders for its latest iPad with wait times for shipping the tablet now reaching two to three weeks, said Canaccord Genuity analysts, who now expect the company to sell 65.6 to 66 million iPads this year. New iPad is Apple’s third version and sports a faster processing chip and a sharper screen. It works with a faster cellular network called 4G.

Industry analysts are projecting that Apple could sell about 1.20 million  iPads in the first 24 hours the devices are on sale across the 10 markets. That number is expected to grow in the coming months as businesses, education and consumers are expected to purchase more iPads than ever before.

The countries getting the device on March 23, 2012 are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. There is no mention about launch date for India.

According to many analysts, currently, only Samsung appears to have the most competitive Android tablet offering compared to iPad and Windows 8 could be greater longer-term threat to Apple’s dominant iPad share than Android tablets. But at the moment, Apple is free bird and there is not much competition to its new iPad and hence it is going to break all records of selling and speculations.

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