Apple follows up this morning's announcement about what it will do with its excessive stockpile of cash, by releasing the tidbit that it sold more than 3 million new iPads during the product’s first weekend in stores.
That’s at least triple the number of iPad 2 tablets that analysts estimated the company sold during that product’s opening weekend last year. While breaking the previous releases' record is now an expected move, the fact that it is triple is astounding and shows that there is no slowing rate at which people are snapping up these amazing screens.
The new iPad, released last Friday started at $500 and included what most are admitting is the best display screen in the market, a better camera, a faster processor and support from AT&T and Verizon’s LTE network.
It is also unusual that Apple would release the numbers, especially this early, sold and estimated 1 million over its first weekend, while it took a month to hit the 1 million sales mark.
This release is heavy on the heels of the iPhone 4S release where it sold 4 million phones in the debut weekend.
Apple CEO Tim Cook merely touched on the fact that iPad experienced record sales this weekend when he explained that Apple would initiate a dividend and share repurchase program.
The tech giant will use $45 billion over the next three years of the near $98 billion of cash it has on hand.
The company said it plans to offer a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012 -- which begins July 1.
So for the second time in the history of the company, it will offer a dividend.
Apple also announced its Board of Directors has authorized a $10 billion share repurchase program commencing in the company's fiscal 2013, which begins Sept. 30.
At this rate, we can only assume that the next iPad will sell roughly 6 million iPads in a three-day weekend.
Here is an except of the release by Apple about their blockbuster weekend:
“The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold―the strongest iPad launch yet,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can't wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday.”