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iPad 3 release leads to 'record weekend' for Apple

iPad 3  - 1097779

The new iPad, or iPad 3, released officially released on Friday and while Apple hasn't released specific weekend sales numbers, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted during this morning's conference call that Apple "had a record [iPad] weekend."

"We're thrilled with it," he said in a conference call focused on the new dividend and share repurchase program. 

The big questions and primary focus, however, remains on the iPad 3 which launched in ten countries on Friday, March 16 and saw initial shipments selling out almost immediately - leading to two to three week shipping delays for current orders.

A week ago, Apple said in a statement, "Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts."

Cook didn't share any exact numbers and didn't confirm if we'd get a press release, but it's safe to assume the new iPad is off to a good start.

The iPad 2 was estimated to have sold somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million units during its debut.  Apple confirmed 300,000 iPad 2 units were sold within 24 hours of launch, a number that included initial pre-order sales.  The iPad 2 eventually went on to sell 1 million units within 28 days.

The new iPad boasts a number of great, new features including it's sharp Retina display packing 3.1 million pixels, the most ever in a mobile device.  The 9.7-inch screen resolution is 2048x1536 (264ppi), making the iPad 3's screen easily the best available on the market.

In addition to it's crystal clear resolution, the new iPad has an A5X processor and quad-core graphics chip, improved iSight five-megapixel camera, voice dictation, and support for 4G LTE

The new iPad can be purchased from retail stores or from the online Apple store, although expect delays of two to three weeks for new orders.  The iPad 2, meanwhile, can be purchased for $399 for the most basic model.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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