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Apple could sell 600,000 iPad 2 units this weekend

iPad 2

Sales of Apple’s iPad 2, which went on sale today, could outpace that of the original iPad, a technology analyst tells Bloomberg. That number could reach as high as 600,000, giving the second-generation tablet a significant lead in its market.

Apple has a high hurtle to clear if it hopes to knock the iPad off its top spot. The original iPad is the fastest-selling device of all-time, measured by revenue. (Microsoft’s Kinect holds the Guinness world record for fastest sold, measured by number of units.) More than 300,000 unites of the device sold in the first 24 hours. And sales of the first iPad brought in $2 billion in reveune to Apple in only three months. As Bloomberg notes, it took more than 18 months for the iPhone to bring in an equal amount.

“Apple has such a huge lead,” Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin, who predicts 500,000 iPad 2 units sold in two day, tells Bloomberg. “Competitors are going to be chasing Apple for many years.”

The iPad 2 went on sale officially at 4am EST this morning on the Apple website, and will be available in brick-and-mortar stores at 5pm EST. In addition to the 236 Apple retail stores that will carry the device, the iPad 2 wll also be available at 10,000 AT&T, Best Buy, Walmart, Verizon Wireless and Target locations in the US.

By comparison, the first-generation iPad sold at 221 Apple stores, and only about a tenth of the non-Apple locations. More availability should equal more sales, experts say.

As we previously noted, however, the high cost of gasoline will likely impact the number of units Apple sells. In addition, the iPad 2’s relatively modest upgrades from the original — thinner, lighter, faster, two cameras — could also result in lower-than-expected sales.

If you’re still trying to decide if the iPad 2 is right for you, check out our “Ultimate iPad 2 buying guide” here.

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