Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPads will go on sale in stores on Friday, but based on pre-orders, they won’t be on the shelves for long. Apple is seeing record pre-orders for the new iPad, with wait times on tablet deliveries rising to as many as three weeks.
Apple’s pre-order stock of iPads sold out days ago. “Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased,” Apple reps told USA Today. One can only guess how many millions of tablets that may have been.
Canaccord analysts are expecting Apple to sell 65.6 million iPads this year. Analysts raised the iPad unit estimate to 65.6 million from 55.9 million for 2012, and to 90.6 million from 79.7 million for 2012. They are claiming that rivals are likely struggle to introduce competitive products over the next couple quarters.
Analysts said that Apple’s pricing of the new iPad will help the company dominate the growing tablet market. Samsung appears to have the most competitive Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) tablet, while Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 doesn’t seem to be much of a threat to the iPad, at least not in the short term.
The iPad will allow Apple to further penetrate verticals like enterprise and education.
Canaccord has raised its price target on Apple stock from $665 to $710 and has maintained a “buy” rating. Apple shares rose 3.78 percent today to close at $589.58.