Initial demand for the iPad 2, which goes on sale Friday evening, will be strong among consumers--stronger than it was for the original iPad, an industry analyst has predicted.
In a note to clients today, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster said he also expects shorter lines at stores.
Munster reconciles the shorter lines but higher sales by the sheer number of retailers that will carry the iPad 2 on launch day. When the original iPad launched, Apple used its retail stores and Best Buy. For the iPad 2, Munster said Apple will use AT&T and Verizon stores, Target, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart locations, in addition to its retail stores.
The analyst also said he believes the iPad 2 will reach the million unit sales milestone faster than the original iPad did. It took Apple 28 days to sell 1 million units of the iPad in 2010.
Another factor that is sure to drive traffic to retailers for the iPad 2 launch is preorders, or lack thereof. Apple didn't offer consumers the option to preorder the second-generation iPad, so consumers who want one on the first day will have to make their way to a store.
Apple unveiled the iPad 2 during an event last week in San Francisco. The new device has front- and rear-facing cameras, a faster processor, and is thinner than its predecessor.
The iPad 2 goes on sale Friday at 5 p.m. local time and starts at $499.