A lot of the cool kids have been frothing at the mouth about the sales figures for the iPad, which became available for pre-orders the other day. Ordinarily this kind of clamor from Apple fanboys reflects their usual obsessive love of products from der Steve, but this time it feels … I don’t know, sad. Pathetic. It’s like they’re worried that people are right, that the iPad will actually be a failure, and they’re grasping at any data point to make themselves feel like they’re justified in their continued screaming about how super-amazing and uber-hawt the iPad is.
Case in point for this wonderful delusion is the “50,000 sales in two hours” figure, which was later reduced to 30,000 in 2 hours, which was later reduced (or extended, really), to 90,000 in 6 hours, which was reduced to 120,000 in 24 hours. If you look at these numbers for more than a second, you might notice something shocking: pre-order rates are going down!
50,000 in 2 hours = 416.67 pre-orders per minute.
90,000 in 6 hours = 250 pre-orders per minute.
120,000 in 24 hours = 83.3 pre-orders per minute.
If you do the math on this decline in pre-orders, you’ll see that the rate of pre-orders is declining by 7 orders per minute. What does this mean? To put it simply, it means that by the time you read this, pre-orders of the iPad will have already dropped down to zero. In fact, I think the numbers might mean that people who’ve pre-ordered have actually started to cancel those pre-orders.
Does this mean that the iPad is a flop? Yes.
What this means — conclusively — is that the iPad will have a userbase of, generously, 126,000. If you add in some in-person sales when the product actually ships, that could swell to 150,000 or 200,000. Which is, I’m sure, a gangbusters performance by Apple’s newest toy.
Way to go, Cupertino! The iPad really is the Newton 2.0.