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iPad pre-orders seen at 240,000 in two weeks

The iPad pre-orders are still on track to beat the iPhone’s initial launch numbers. With advance orders believed to have hit 190,000 last week, the rate of purchases has slowed down but should still have reached 240,000 of the tablets as of Friday. The current average of about 7,000 pre-orders per day would have the iPad beat the 2007 iPhone’s 270,000 launch weekend units by Monday based purely on online sales.

The actual first-day sales on April 3rd are likely to be higher, Daniel Tello predicts. Current estimates don’t include either reservations at retail stores or any walk-in purchases of leftover units. The original iPhone sales also factored in two whole days of sales at the end of the iPhone’s first fiscal quarter.

Besides making the iPad the company’s largest lineup introduction to date, the calculations would make the iPad the most successful launch of a new category for Apple in terms of units shipped and would give it the strongest e-reader and tablet launches known so far. Amazon has always been secretive about its Kindle sales but is understood to have sold 500,000 Kindles in all of 2008. Barnes & Noble will have taken advantage of a larger market but was predicted to reach the same 500,000-unit mark for the Nook just this month, or five months after the Nook was first unveiled.