Apple has claimed it sold three million iPads over the weekend, with sales of its Mini and fourth generation tablets double the number of third generation iPads that were shifted over its opening weekend in March.
The much-rumoured iPad Mini and the unexpected fourth generation tablet were unveiled last month, and went on sale in some countries on Friday, with Apple claiming that it nearly sold out of the Mini.
“We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad Minis. We're working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand,” said Tim Cook, Apple chief executive.
Apple will no doubt be keen to trumpet the success of the iPad Mini, which has been seen as integral to fend off rivals, including Amazon and Asus, which have won customers over with their low-cost 7in tablets.
According to the latest figures from IDC, while demand for iPad's remained solid in the third quarter of 2012, sales of Android-based rivals, such as Samsung's Galaxy and Note tablets rocketed.
The introduction of new low-cost 7in models of Asus's Nexus and Android's Kindle Fire, will ensure than Apple faces more competition than ever in the tablet market.
IDC suggested that rumours of Apple introducing a 7in tablet may have put off some buyers in the recent quarter.
Those sentiments were in line with Apple's own explanation of disappointing iPad sales, when it released its financial results.
Apple did not provide further guidance on what slice of the three million iPads sold were accounted for by the iPad Mini.
Nonetheless, market watchers will be eyeing the next quarter's sales figures with even more interest than usual.
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