updated 01:50 am EDT, Tue October 5, 2010
Soon to be 4th most popular electronics buy
Despite a spate of critical press reports on launch that didn't seem to understand the device, the iPad has won the hearts of the public, and its adoption rate is much higher than was the case for the iPhone or the DVD player when they were introduced, says CNBC's market analysis program Fast Money.
The adoption rate for the iPad is remarkable in light of the fact that it was a new category of product. When the iPhone was first introduced to massive hype and buyer excitement, it sold a million units in its first quarter -- hailed as exceptional. The DVD player, the most quickly-adopted non-phone product, sold a mere 350,000 units in its first entire year.
The iPad sold three million units in its first 80 days of release, and its current sales rate is 4.5 million units per quarter, with better sales to come as the holiday season approaches and new markets (and outlets) open up. At its current rate, the iPad will surpass gaming hardware and regular cell phones as the device with the fourth-fastest acceptance rate, beaten only by TVs, smartphones and notebook computers with 2011 sales topping $9 billion.
Analysts give credit both to Apple's marketing as well as the fact that the iPad builds on the foundation of technology and high-quality reputation forged by the iPod and iPhone, despite being in a different and somewhat more-expensive category. Wall Street believes the iPad has "first mover" momentum, plus a reputation for innovation that will keep the iPad ahead of rivals soon to flood the market. Recent reports have cited representatives from Best Buy claiming that not only are iPads cutting into netbook sales, but are having some impact on other electronics sales, from notebook computers to TVs.
The figures come on the heels of news that Apple's market capitalization is on track to surpass that of the S&P index's current most-highly-valued company, ExxonMobil.