Apple CEO: 'Record' Demand for New iPad

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CUPERTINO, Calif. (TheStreet) -- Apple enjoyed massive demand for its new iPad during the tablet's first weekend of sales, according to CEO Tim Cook.

"We had a record weekend and we're thrilled with that," said Cook, during a conference call on Monday to discuss the tech giant's new dividend and share repurchase strategy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Cook, however, did not divulge any specific numbers, preferring to focus on Apple's cash plan.

Apple's new iPad hit stores in the U.S. and nine other countries early on Friday. The consumer tech giant will start selling the iPad in 25 additional countries on March 23, including Italy, Spain, Sweden and Mexico.

Service provider AT&T , which is one of Apple's iPad partners, noted record demand for the latest tablet.

"On Friday, March 16, AT&T set a new single-day record for its iPad sales and activations, demonstrating robust demand for the new iPad on the nation's largest 4G network," explained a spokesperson, in an email to TheStreet.

Unveiled in a blaze of publicity earlier this month, the new iPad is expected to continue Apple's dominance in the tablet market. Just days after unveiling the iPad, Apple said that demand for its latest offering is "off the charts," fuelling expectations of massive sales.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley predicted that Apple would ship well over a million iPads during the first weekend of new iPad sales. The analyst also expects Apple to ship a total of 12.5 million iPads during the company's March quarter, up from 4.69 million in the same period last year.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster recently said that Apple could sell more than 1 million iPads on Friday alone, citing the company's previous product launches.

Apple sold more than 300,000 iPads on the first day the initial device became available in 2010, including pre-ordered tablets. Last year, when the iPad 2 was launched, the consumer tech giant did not release initial sales figures, although investors were looking for first-day sales of around a million tablets.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based firm sold a record 15.4 million iPads during its recent fiscal first quarter, up from 7.3 million in the same period last year. The tech giant has sold more than 55 million iPads since launching the tablet in early 2010.

Apple shares rose $10.24, or 1.75%, to $595.81 on Monday.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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