How iPad sales compare to Xbox 360, Wii and PS3

According to news sources Apple shipped 300,000 iPads on the first day. This figure included pre-orders. Some have labelled this disappointing including the Wall Street Journal. iSuppli predicted that the iPad will sell over 7 million in the first year, and  it is hard to see that happening based on initial results.

However, initial sales figures like this are unprecedented for Tablet PCs.  As Sumocat pointed out recently, Tablet PCs sell between 3-4 million a year.  So I wondered, how does the iPad launch compare to the big selling staples of consumer electronics – gaming consoles?


US: 500,000 sold in first weekend.
Japan: 600,000 on first day


US: 197,000 units in first  two weeks
Europe:  600,000 in 2 days

Xbox 360

US: 326,000 units in under 2 weeks – with production shortages.Wii


US: 600,000 units in 8 days


US:  333,000 consoles in 1 day


As you can see, 300,000 of any consumer electronics device is a pretty incredible feat. Bear in mind that all of the above devices entered existing and well established markets. With the 3G version of the iPad is still to come, we would expect to see another sales bubble in the next few months.

Another interesting fact from WSJ is that the original iPhone sold 270,000 units in first 30 hours. So I would say that the iPad is on track, but maybe not for 7 million in the first year.

What I can say from the experience of the last three months that iPad has significantly raised awareness of Tablet computing in general. The whole Tablet industry will benefit from Apple’s slick marketing machine.

Brett Gilbertson used his first "portable" computer around 1985 at 10 years old. His early portable computer experiences included the IBM Portable, IBM Convertible, Sharp PC7000, HP Jornada Palmtop PC, and several Compaq iPAQ PDAs. Since 2002 he has been a Tablet PC user and enthusiast. You will often find Brett scribbling notes in Microsoft OneNote and emailing in digital ink. Brett now sells Tablet PC hardware and software of all types throughout Australia.


  1. I hate this 300,000 in one day statistic. When you take pre-orders for three weeks, yeah, it’s really easy to sell a lot in one day.

    Especially when the number includes sales to retail parters. We don’t even know how many of those are sitting on shelves. Personally I know I can go into any of the 5 local Best Buys and walk out with an iPad in hand.

    • True, it’s impossible to get an idea of how many iPads, were really taken home, but judging by the numbers of app downloads, book purchases and people reporting wiFi problems it is still pretty huge. I would assume that the comparison console figures here would be counted similary.

      Add to that the fact that the 3G version is still to come. Real tablets have 3G IMHO, so it will be interesting to se the take up of that version. That will tell us how about much price matters in this game (which I suspect is a lot).

  2. Regardless of the exact numbers, it is pretty impressive that the iPad is in the same ballpark as the devices listed above. There really aren’t that many consumer electronic products out there that come close.

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