In the run-up to the release of the iPad mini, there was a lot of hand wringing from Apple loyalists after early reviews tagged the device as a somewhat overpriced competitor to similar tablets, offering a lower resolution screen and few new options. But the weekend tally is in, and despite some reviewer misgivings, the iPad mini is officially a hit.
Apple wasted no time hailing its own win with a statement from the company's CEO, Tim Cook, who said, "We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis. We're working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand." The record Cook is referring to is the fact that Apple sold 3 million iPad minis and fourth generation iPads in just three days, or roughly a million iPads per day. While a significant portion of those iPads were certainly iPad 4's, with the iPad 3 just over half a year old, it's likely the vast majority of sales were focused on the new iPad mini.
One early signal that the device was a consumer must-have were the long lines at Apple stores in hurricane Sandy-affected New York City. Even in the face of short-term electricity and public transit challenges, consumers couldn't stay away from the Apple stores, which, according to my sources, quickly sold out of the device on the very first day.
On Friday, while a significant portion of the city remained without power, one videographer estimated that up to 800 consumers lined up at 8 A.M. in chilly weather at the company's flagship store in Manhattan hoping snag the device. You can check out a scene from Friday's launch in the video below.