The new iPad broke all sorts of sales records when it went out to the shelves opening weekend, selling over 3 million units on the first weekend of availabilty (this includes pre-orders). Contributing to this, is the incredible speed Apple has been able to push the devices out at, with their fastest rollout yet. Also, the new iPad rolls out to both AT&T and Verizon carriers in the US, and supports “LTE” connectivity.

But the first week was just the beginning. This coming Friday, the feeding frenzy over Apple’s latest edition to the iPad line up begins anew, this time, in 24 more countries. With that, reports from UBS analyst Maynard Um suggests that Apple is likely to sell over 12 million units by the end of the quarter, which means a whopping 9 million iPads in 11 days. Can you imagine how popular that is? For those of you claiming “sheep” (as trolls love to do), I think you should reconsider your logic with those numbers. That’s impressive to everyone. I don’t care who you are… you’re either impressed, or a flat out stone-cold emotionless puppet with a grudge.

And then, still… you should be impressed.

I can’t even fathom how difficult it would be to ship 3 million iPads around the world in a couple days alone. This is something no manufacturer has ever had to do, with their entire product lines mixed in. HP, Motorola, and RIM have yet to even reach this number since they launched their first tablets to compete with the iPad. Apple did it in less than 72 hours… and isn’t slowing down.

The iPhone 4S is still the record holder, as far as Apple’s device launches goes with 4 million in one weekend. The thing that makes this more impressive than the iPhone, despite the million-unit gap, is that phones are much more common to purchase. Everyone needs a phone in the modern world, and while many people would love a new tablet (me), some just won’t end up buying one anytime soon (sadly, also me).

Thinking from the business end of things, shipping 3 million iPads (or 4 million iPhones) that quickly is insane. Imagine what 9 million more in just 11 days would do? Take that, and then add more iPads, because this isn’t including the iPad 2 devices sold at the lower price. Then add iPhones, iPods, AppleTV’s, Macs (on and on and on) and you’ll probably get nauseated by the thought of it. It’s a HUGE number of products, and Apple can’t hang onto any of them very long.

Apple’s going the right way to do it, and their stock prices show it. You may not like it or agree with them, but you cannot deny raw numbers. Facts of success this large don’t lie. They’re business model is sound, their marketing strategy appeals to users personally, and their $100 Billion in cash can be used to purchase or research pretty much anything they want.

According to AppleInsider, analyst Gene Munster believes that these explosive sales are not an isolated incident, and that these numbers will continue to grow. In a note to investors, he projects sales of 66 million iPads in 2012, growing to 176 million in 2015.

“We believe the unprecedented ramp of the iPad over the past year is evidence that the tablet market will be measurably larger than the PC market.”

Obviously those are just figurative numbers, and while the 2015 estimate may not be completely accurate or provable at this time, the 2012 estimate has a chance. To put the new devices popularity into perspective a bit more, let’s take a look at web traffic statistics made by Chikita, who announced on it’s Facebook page that they were monitoring the traffic coming from iPads through their network. What they found just continues to add to the insanity of this device launch:

 As of 2 PM on 3/20/2012, “The new iPad” represents 5.52% (average of the last 24 hours) of all iPad traffic, according to Chitika Insights. Prior to the release of official numbers by Apple, Chitika Insights’ iPad Tracker was and remains one of the only methods available to track “The new iPad” adoption rate across the US in real time.

The true pace Apple can keep remains to be seen, but judging by what they’ve already done, I can understand “shortages” in the supply. It’s really all about whether they can handle this worldwide launch and keep up with demand. The iPhone 4 shortages lasted months after release, and both of the previous iPad launches had customers experiencing wait times on their shipments as well.

And, for those who do appreciate Apple’s products, the fun in 2012 has only just begun. In the keynote presentation to announce the new iPad, Tim Cook (CEO) announced that they “were just getting started”, and that 2012 is “going to be a big year.” The new iPad comes with a brilliant Retina Display, as well as a quad-core graphics processor and 1GB of RAM. The device comes for AT&T or Verizon, and while they each work individually for the carriers LTE networks, the Verizon model of the iPad can actually connect to AT&T’s 3G network as well (making it the better by, in my opinion).

(image via ABC)

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