Consumers love, hate Apple’s new iPad

March 19, 2012

Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts on Monday that the company had seen phenomenal sales of its new iPad over the weekend, according to The Washington Post’s Cecilia Kang:

Last week, the company began selling the new version of iPad in retail stores, recording a “record weekend,” according to Cook.

Cook said the company will continue to invest in research and development, new retail store openings, acquisitions and building out the company’s supply chain.

“We are extremely confident in our future and see tremendous opportunities ahead,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer.

Apple’s new iPad showed up in stores around the world on Friday to throngs of cheering fans, according to the Associated Press:

Apple’s latest iPad drew the customary lines of die-hard fans looking to be first and entrepreneurs looking to make a quick profit.

Many buyers lined up for hours, and in some cases overnight, as the tablet computer went on sale in the U.S. and nine other countries. They did so even though Apple started accepting online orders a week ago.

The new, third model comes with a faster processor, a much sharper screen and an improved camera, though the changes aren’t as big as the upgrade from the original model to the iPad 2.

As with the previous models, prices start at $499 in the U.S.

“I don’t think it’s worth the price but I guess I’m a victim of society,” Athena May, 21, said in Paris.

Analysts interviewed by Bloomberg News predicted that the company may sell 2.5 million or more iPads over the first weekend:

Apple may sell 2.5 million or more iPads this weekend, according to Carl Howe, an analyst at Yankee Group. Predicted demand for the new iPad, which will feature a more powerful processor and higher-resolution screen, has helped Apple extend its lead as the world’s most valuable company. It also means long lines and surging sales for Computer Village and other far- flung sellers, which are likely to sell out before Apple’s better-stocked 363 official outlets.

Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos., predicts that Apple will sell more than 1 million iPads on day one alone.

IPad Wait Times

Following Apple’s unveiling of the new iPad at a press conference last week, online preorders quickly maxed out. Wait times for Web orders now extend to as many as three weeks. That backlog will send many customers to Apple’s chain of stores, said Howe, who correctly predicted Apple would sell more than 4 million iPhones in the weekend after the 4S debut in October.

But despite the strong sales, consumers have already begun complaining about the new iPad’s shortcomings, according to The Washington Post’s Hayley Tsukayama:

Overheating?: This is a topic that’s getting a lot of chatter on Apple’s support forums. It seems that the new iPad is running hotter than its predecessor, and several people on the forums have noted that they get an error message saying the iPad needs to “cool down” when they’ve been using their tablets for long periods of time. Many users identified the same ‘”arm corner,” left of the home button.

Heavier: The new iPad is a couple of ounces heavier than its predecessor, the iPad 2, which won’t make a difference to most folks. But if you carry your iPad a lot, or like to hold it with one hand, you may notice the extra weight. It’s a small tradeoff for a better battery and better graphics processor, but is worth noting if weight is an issue for you.

No LTE Facetime: The inability to use Facetime over cellular networks has vexed Apple users in the past, and seems to be even more of an annoyance on the 4G iPad, since the network is so fast.

For more complaints, see Tsukayama’s full story here.

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