One other key tidbit was just added to the Mercury article about Steve Jobs showing up at the Apple Store. Tech Analyst Gene Munster over at Piper Jaffray, believes that 600,000 to 700,000 were sold today alone. Earlier, he believed 300,000 would be sold over the entire weekend. As a point of reference, 270,000 iPhones were sold in its opening weekend. [SJ Mercury]
Here's why I called bullshit (now that I have some time to explain).
So, there are around 200 Apple stores and 675 Best buys in the US that carried iPads. The grand total rests around 875-900 stores carrying the iPad on launch day.
Ok... in order for 875 stores to sell 700,000 iPads, they would've had to have sold 800 iPads EACH.
Now, it was reported that each of those 675 best buys would have 15 iPads each on launch day (5 of each wifi model). That means that all the iPads in all the Best Buys in the US on launch day added up to 10,125 units. That means that each Apple store would've had to push out ~3450 iPads in 8 hours.
EACH Apple store alone would've had to sell ~431 iPads per hour or ~7 iPads per minute.
The only way for 700,000 iPads to be sold in ONE DAY would've been if all 675 Best Buys and ~200 Apple stores (Wikipedia says there are 222 in the US) had ~780 iPads each and sold ~1.6 iPads per minute for 8 hours straight.