Apple sold 3 million iPads since launch

iPads piled up last week.
iPads piled up last week.
James Martin/CNET

(CNET) Hours after saying it sold a "record" number number of third-generation iPads this past weekend, Apple has given that record a tally.

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Today the company said it has sold 3 million of the devices since launching on Friday. That number does not include preorders of the device, which went live the day the product was announced.

"The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold--the strongest iPad launch yet," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, in a statement.

The news comes on the heels of Apple announcing plans to offer a quarterly dividend to shareholders, as well as a stock repurchasing program. In a call with analysts following the news, Apple CEO Tim Cook dodged a question about how many iPads the company had sold during its initial weekend on sale, saying only that it was "a record weekend."

CNET's iPad review (third-generation)
Apple sells 4 million iPhone 4S units in first weekend

To put the 3 million metric in perspective, preorders for the iPhone 4S--Apple's most popular product launch to date--topped 1 million units in its first 24 hours on sale, with the device going on to sell more than 4 million units during its launch weekend. Apple did not report initial sales of the iPad 2 after the device made its debut last year, but did report launch sales of the first-generation model, which pulled in first-day sales of 300,000 units.

Apple has sold more than 58 million iPads since launching the product in 2010, a metric that includes today's 3 million number. The company sold 15.43 million in its most recently reported fiscal quarter, which ended in December.

Despite the fact that new buyers of Apple's third-generation iPad face a two- to three-week delay on new orders, the tablet launches in 24 additional countries this Friday.

Shares of Apple are trading at $603.79, up $2.70 (or 0.45 percent), in after-hours trading.

This article first appeared at CNET under the headline "Apple: 3 million iPads sold since launch."

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    Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.