A lot of people didn’t get the iPad on release, and a whole bunch more didn’t even think the device would be all that successful. It looks like the joke is on them, as the iPad is selling faster than DVD players did when they were released. That makes it the fastest selling consumer electronic device outside of the cellular phone market.

According to CNBC and Bernstien research, Apple sold three million iPads in the first 80 days, and currently they’re selling 4.5 million iPads per quarter. Comparatively, Apple sold 1,000,000 iPhones in the first year of availability, and the DVD player saw 350,000 devices fly off the shelves.

The iPod and iPhone may have paved the way for the iPad’s success, but the iPad is far more successful than most would have assumed on launch day. It’s not hard to understand why PC manufacturers are scrambling to get competitors out to challenge the  iPad’s dominance, but the longer they wait, the bigger the lead is for Apple, and most can’t afford to wait any longer.

Sadly, it might be a while until a true competitor rears its head. It seems like the viable competitors continue to disappear entirely before they’re even released: Microsoft axed their Courier concept, and LG has announced delaying their tablets because Android 2.2 isn’t up to snuff.

So that leaves the BlackBerry PlayBook, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and HP Slate, none of which have even shipped yet. The BlackBerry Playbook might not even exist at all, the Samsung Galaxy Tab will be getting “demo” time on the 11th of October, but still hasn’t shipped yet, and the HP Slate is scheduled for release sometime this fall, which is already half over.

The funny thing is that by the time these companies get around to shipping products, Apple will likely be announcing the iPad 2, restoring their advantage, and likely surpassing the tech specs and perks of their competitors.

Article Via MacNN and CNBC

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