Monday, April 26, 2010

Chitika Labs puts iPad sales over 1 million

Chitika Labs, which attempts to track the number of iPads in the wild by counting the number coming through the Chitika ad network, now estimates that there are over one million iPads currently being used.
Chitika's estimates have always been higher than the official numbers coming from Apple, so I would not bet the farm that these numbers are accurate, but their estimates do seem to indicate that iPad sales remain strong as Apple prepares to start shipping its 3G models for delivery April 30.

Back on April 5 when Chitika first launched their iPad sales monitor, the company reported that there were 270,000 iPads "live" -- that is, that number of iPads being used to surf the Internet, and therefore trackable through cookies. The estimate of the number of iPads sold on April 3, the launch date, was around 300,000, so this number seemed about right. A few days later Chitika estimated that there were 700,000 iPads in the wild, but later had to revise that number down when Apple publicly said the number was more like 450,000. That forced Chitika to revise their assumptions concerning how many unique IP addresses the average iPad hits when reaching the company's ad network.

So are there really one million iPads being used in the U.S.? Only Apple knows. But the implications are important when considering whether the tablet publishing market is a fast growing new medium, or simply a distraction. (You know where I stand on that question, right?)

Update: As a former resident of California I find it strangely reassuring that California residents account for so much of the iPad's Internet traffic -- over 19 percent. Obviously the state rankings are heavily influenced simply by population levels (following California are New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois), but the gap between California and second ranked state is enormous.