Customers try the new iPad at the Apple store in Oberhausen, Germany. The new iPad battery has 70 per cent more capacity, but the new display consumes that additional power. Image Credit: AP

Los Angeles: Just three days after Apple launched the newest iPad in stores, the company announced it has sold three million units. Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of global marketing, said it was the strongest iPad release yet.

Analysts had anticipated that the third-generation iPad would be a strong seller — Apple had described pre-orders for the device as "off the charts" — but the general consensus was that Apple would sell two to three million units by the end of March.

The iPad, which was available for pre-order starting March 9, was launched in ten markets on Friday: the US (including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands), Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and Britain. On Friday, the newest iPad is set to launch in 25 additional markets: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macao, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

"We can't wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world on Friday," Schiller said in a statement released by Apple. Separately, research firm IHS ISuppli said in its tear-down analysis that the new iPad costs more to make than the iPad 2. The 32-gigabyte version of the new iPad with 4G LTE wireless costs $375 (Dh1,377) to make.

That's about 50 per cent of the tablet's $729 price tag. The comparable iPad 2 with 3G wireless, when launched last year, cost Apple about nine per cent less to build, according to IHS.

— Los Angeles Times