Fans of Apple’s iPad all over the world are lining up for a chance to own the third-generation version of the tablet, so many that Apple may be on pace to break another of its own sales records.
According to a story from Reuters, one analysis firm, Canaccord Genuity, estimates that Apple could move as many as 65 million iPads this year. That’s a staggering number, considering that it would surpass all the iPads Apple has sold since it released the tablet in 2010.
But this latest iPad seems very well-positioned to bring in new users who haven’t yet signed on for an iPad tablet. It includes the Retina display that users have been asking for since the release of the iPhone 4, and that’s bound to make a lot of people extremely happy. The Retina display is a huge hit on the iPhone and on the iPad, it seems even better positioned to be the kind of feature that draws people to buy, especially given some of the phenomenal-looking apps Apple showed off at the announcement event.
So too does the fact that Apple has 4G LTE connectivity in this iPad, which still largely feels like a cutting-edge technology in terms of the cellular world. Sure, there are several 4G LTE tablets and smartphones out there at this point, but they’re still relatively rare. Further, 4G LTE is being hyped like crazy among U.S. cellular carriers, so it’s hard not to get excited about the potential of having that technology in the latest iPad.
Apple’s devices are also cheaper than they’ve ever been out of the box with the reduction of the price of the iPad 2 by $100 that was announced at the same even at which Apple rolled out the new iPad. While $399 is still a pretty exorbitant price tag, it’s likely a lot easier to stomach than $499 for many buyers who were on the fence. There’s a segment of the public, especially among tablet owners, that doesn’t see the new iPad as too huge a step forward from the iPad 2. Apple’s price drop may well attract users who don’t see the need for the newest bells and whistles, and can manage to save a little money on the old iPad over the new one.
Share prices for Apple set a record of their own Thursday, ahead of any potential milestones set by the iPad. Apple shares hiked up to $600 for the first time ever, before dropping back to $585 for the day. Canaccord Genuity thinks they’ll continue to rise, hitting $715 by year’s end. And just a year ago, they were crossing the $500 mark. In the last year, Apple’s stock price has jumped 45 percent.
It seems there’s still no stopping the iPad, but Apple’s success isn’t about the device so much as the apps it can use, and the company knows it. It launched a new portal in the iTunes App Store Thursday called “Great Apps for the New iPad,” which puts lots of titles that are optimized for the new iPad’s display in front of waiting first adopters. All of them are likely to look very pretty on those new high-res screens.