While we’re awaiting for a press release announcing a millionth iPad 2 sold, Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt has put together a nice summary of analysts’ estimates concerning iPad 2 weekend sales. The number range from 500,000 to one million units sold this past weekend, but Apple could easily blow conservative analysts out of the water with higher-than-expected sales as Apple’s spokeswoman calls iPad 2 demand “amazing”.


While Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray cautioned clients to expect weekend shipments to top half a million units, other analysts expect at least twice as much. This includes Baird’s William Power, Wedbush’s Scott Sutherland and Global Equities’ Trip Chowdhry, all crossing their fingers for one million iPads. Apple, however, could easily beat even the overly optimistic estimates. If the long lines witnessed nationwide outside Apple stores are an indication, a press release about a million iPads sold should be out later today. Head count at Apple’s flagship retail store at NYC’s Fifth Avenue, where long lines stretched around the block, ranges from a thousand to three thousand people.

Trip Chowdhry says each Best Buy store he called sold their stock of forty iPad 2 units in about four minutes, amounting to an average sales rate of one iPad each six seconds. Meanwhile, this is what Apple’s spokeswoman Trudy Miller told The Loop regarding initial consumer demand for iPad 2.

Demand for the next generation iPad 2 has been amazin. We are working hard to get iPad 2 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible.

Most analysts expect the iPad to retain its lead and some warn of a “tablet bubble” in 2011 as rival vendors struggle to match Apple’s pricing, marketing and appeal, which could lead to many unsold units collecting dust on store shelves.

Apple shipped 300,000 units of the original iPads on its first day of sale. Conservative analysts have been calling for at least twice that number during launch weekend, or 600,000 units. Last year, Apple shipped a millionth iPad in about a month and another million units less than a month later. They sold three million units in eighty days since the launch.

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