Friday, March 12, 2010

How many iPads pre-ordered?

We've been trying to estimate how many iPad pre-orders have been placed simply by counting web orders from user contributed web order numbers. I have more than 5 years experience working with these, correlating them to overall sales, and gauging product introductions.

It's not an exact science though. This web order sequence of course includes all Apple products sold through the US Online Store. But for today, this is relatively insignificant when compared to the iPad orders. The average daily order volume from January 16 to March 5 was about 16 thousand orders per day. From March 5 until the first order submitted after the store opened today it was about 14.5 thousand per day.

But today, that's a drop in the iPad bucket. The other products would account for 600 orders per hour, assuming the base rate continues the same. Yet for the first 6 hours since the store opened, we've seen the sequence increase by more than 88 thousand orders in total. That's the baseline daily volume, per hour! For the last 2 or 3 hours the rate has moderated to about 7 thousand per hour, from more than a thousand per minute in the first 15-20 minutes.

Additionally, an important proportion of iPad orders are for two units, which for now I'm counting as just one until I get a bigger sample.

I'll keep an eye on this rate and the estimated total over the next few weeks.

Thanks for everyone's submissions,


Alan said...

Deagol - first thanks for doing all the work on this. Second, I heard that iPads ordered for pickup at the store did not receive order numbers. Do you know if that is true and if there has been any kind of "exit polling" to estimate how many ordered delivery vs store pickup?

Brooks said...

Ok, this is far from scientific, but here's some additional data based on Google search resutls for queries like " ordered ipad".

ordered ipad: 5060
ordered ipad pickup: 315
reserved ipad: 502

Given that "ordered ipad pickup" results should also appear in "ordered ipad", I'm going to ballpark this as 5565 total tweets,
815 (15%) of which were about reserving in store, 4740 (85%) of which were about ordering for delivery.

The methodology is dubious: a spot check makes it obvious that some percentage of "ordered ipad" tweets were about the fact that it was available for pre-order, or how to pre-order, etc. So I'd welcome refinements.

deagol said...

Alan, yes, only the iPads pre-ordered for delivery generate a web order number.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hard work. Is there an update for saturday? I'd be curious to see if the momentum is holding up or the nice weather is distracting people from shopping the iPad today.

asymco said...

I tried to find comparables:

One example is the Android G1–the first Android device. It sold 663k units in the launch quarter. Another is the Nokia 5800, Nokia’s first touch capable device. It sold 536k units in the first quarter (up to 1 million in the first 3 months). Sony Ericsson’s first Windows Mobile device was the X1. It sold 237k units in the first quarter of sales. The first Sense UI HTC device (the Diamond) sold about 1 million units. The RIM Storm, RIM’s first touch device sold 1.6 million units. Finally the iPhone which sold 1.1 million units in the first full quarter of sales (about 1.4 million if we include the weekend sales that fell outside the first quarter).

Dave said...

Deago - That's very preliminary and a bit sketchy but those numbers are in the same ballpark with the iPhone's launch. If it becomes clear that the iPad is outselling the iPhone at launch I think the stock price will explode.

I wonder if market analysts like Gartner will count an iPad sale as a computer sale. If they do it looks like Apple's computer market share is likely to double or triple right away.

Thanks for the good work.