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First-Day iPad Sales Top 300,000

In case you hadn’t heard, Apple’s much-anticipated new iPad went on sale April 3. The product has been the center of considering consumer and industry speculation: does it herald the beginning of a new era of tablet computing? Or is it just a “big iPhone”—you know, without the phone?

Regardless, Apple doesn’t seem to be having any trouble selling the devices—at least right out of the gate. Apple has announced that in ths first day of availability, the company sold more than 300,000 iPads, although that figure includes both pre-orders placed by customers as well as sales at Apple Stores and deliveries to partners like Best Buy.

Apple also says users downloaded over one million applications from the App Stoer, and more than 250,000 books from its new iBookstore during the iPad’s first day of availability.

“It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world—it’s going to be a game changer,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in a statement. “iPad users, on average, downloaded more than three apps and close to one book within hours of unpacking their new iPad.”

How did Apple do for the whole weekend? No official numbers are in, but many third-party estimates place weekend iPad sales at over 500,000 units, with some analysts like Piper Jaffray & Co.’s Gene Munster even estimating as high as 700,000 units sold during the first weekend.

The lowest priced iPad with 16 GB of storage costs $499; a 32 GB edition runs $599 and a 64 GB edition costs $699. Apple will be adding models with 3G connectivity to the iPad line later this month; each will cost $129 more than its Wi-Fi-only equivalent. Even if all customers bought the least expensive iPad on the first day, Apple still did over $150 million in business on the product’s first day of availability.

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