Following the sale of one million of the devices in less than a month of its April 3 debut in the U.S., the iPad is now available in Australia, Canada, Japan and six European countries.
The iPad is on sale starting at 499 euros ($618) in continental Europe — more than the $499 it sells for in the U.S.
Countries outside the U.S. are likely to account for 43 percent, or 3.5 million units, of iPad shipments this year, Mike Abramsky, an analyst at RBC in Toronto, wrote in a May 20 report. The U.S. will probably be the biggest market with 4.7 million units, followed by France with 805,000 and the U.K, with 585,000, according to the report.
Despite the skeptical opinions on this new class of device along with few shortfalls of lacking Flash support, a frontal camera and a strong closed ecosystem , the iPad has become one of the most successful electronic device launches in history. This has propelled Apple to the top spot of most valuable technology firm in the world, after its market value hit $222.1 billion, higher than Microsoft’s $219.2 billion, on optimism it can keep adding customers for its iPhone, Macintosh computer and iPad.