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Newsletter Issue #538: Of iPad Preorders and Tea Leaves

If you believe the reports that have been widely circulated by Mac sites and such mainstream media resources as Fortune, an estimated 190,000 orders have been received by Apple for its new portable computing gadget as of the time I’m writing this issue, but the initial flurry has seriously subsided. That raises the larger question as to just how well this new product will fare in the marketplace.

Understand that these figures do not come from Apple, and nobody outside of the company has actual access to the ordering information. So how were these figures determined? Well, Fortune bases its tallies in information provided by “Daniel Tello, who’s been manning the spreadsheet for AAPL Sanity,” a site that covers Apple’s financials.

How does Tello come by the figures? Evidently readers send him the invoice numbers received from Apple when they place their iPad orders. Using some sort of fuzzy logic, Tello is assuming that those numbers are somehow consecutive, and subtracts what he presumes are the ones that apply to other products. They do not include bulk orders, or units reserved for in-store pickup, and there’s no way to gauge how many of those have been received.

I don’t know if I really need to tear apart the accuracy of such a survey, but I will do so anyway because it is, at best, an extremely rough estimate and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. However, I feel that is precisely what’s going to happen anyway, at least until Apple’s financials for the next quarter are in hand, or Apple touts initial sales in a press release before then.

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