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iPad 1: A Look Back On The Highs And Lows Of Apple's First Tablet

As we brace ourselves for the launch of the iPad 2 this afternoon, Benzinga is taking a look back on some of the highs and lows of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) first tablet.

High: iPad Sales Surpass One Million Milestone

Less than one month after the original iPad was released, Apple announced that it had sold more than one million units. This milestone was a huge bragging point for the company, as the iPad reached the one million mark much faster than the iPhone, which took around three months to sell its first million. (Of course, the iPhone has more than made up for its slow start, wouldn't you say?)

Low: iPad Launch Below Expectations
Considering that the iPhone and iPod Touch were universally embraced as the next best thing in technology, many analysts expected the iPad to fly off store shelves.

But as it turned out, the impressive first-day sales of 300,000 were nowhere near the 400,000+ that analysts expected. According to the Wall Street Journal, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster expected sales as high as 700,000.

High: 4Q Sales Reach 7.3 Million
It looks like quite a few people received an iPad this past Christmas, because Apple sold more than seven million of them in the fourth quarter.

Low: Fiscal 4Q Not As Impressive
Last October, Steve Jobs attempted to combat the so-called “disappointing” iPad sales (4.19 million in the fiscal fourth quarter) by saying a few words about his competitors.

“The current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival,” Jobs said. “Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small."

High: 15 Million iPads Sold
On the cusp of unveiling the iPad 2, Apple announced that it had sold 15 million units of the original iPad.

Was this huge milestone enough to finally silence the critics? That's hard to say, considering that they were all too busy sharing their anticipation for the iPad 2 to discuss anything else.

Low: In Anticipation Of The iPad 2, Consumers Dump The Original

We all saw this one coming. Out with the old and in with the new.

This, however, might be more of a high than a low for Apple. It's not as if the company is making any money off the iPad you already own. But Apple is more than happy to watch its customers sell old Macs, iPhones, iPods and iPads so long as they replace them with the latest and greatest that Apple has to offer.

High: Apple Celebrates Huge App Store Sales (With A Contest!)

In January, Apple announced that the App Store had sold more than 9.7 billion apps.

Upon the announcement, Apple quickly added a download counter to its website, along with the promise to award the person who downloaded the 10 billionth app with a $10,000 gift card for iTunes.

Low: I Didn't Win

Yeah, this was more of a low point for me than for Apple.

Still, it's worth noting. I was very hurt. It was almost as bad as that time I failed to win $1 million playing the McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) Monopoly game.

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