Investor Village’s AAPL Sanity board, which requires a subscription to view its content, on Monday noted that iPad pre-orders dropped from an estimated 25,000 per hour on Friday, the first day of availability, to around 1,000 per hour over the weekend. For the three-day period, the cumulative total was estimated at 152,000.
Daniel Tello, an analyst who was helping track order numbers and chart the sales activity, told Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt that he attributes half the sales activity last Friday to “pure overexcited fanboism.” Mr. Tello goes by the handle “Deagol,” which is the name of the hobbit in “The Lord of the Rings” who was killed for the One Ring by Smeagol; the ring eventually turned Smeagol into Gollum, whose lust for it only grew over time and completely corrupted him.
Mr. Elmer-DeWitt noted: “Tello is famous in Apple investor circles for making predictions of the company’s quarterly revenues and earnings that are as good as, and more often better, than those published by professional analysts.” He linked to Mr. Tello’s AAPL Model web page, which explains how he derived his iPad analysis.
Mr. Tello said: “With three weeks and two weekends left before they ship, I wouldn’t expect much more than half a million in pre-orders and reservations. My best guess, although very tentative given the early stage and few data we have so far, would be that they hit the 1 million unit milestone by the second week after it ships.”
He estimated that buyers preferred the Wi-Fi iPad model to the Wi-Fi+3G one by a more than 2:1 margin, with the percentage of orders between 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities in roughly equal percentages to each other. However, Mr. Elmer-DeWitt said that the weekend saw orders for the 64GB model increase slightly, giving it a little edge at 35 percent.
Mr. Tello and a fellow AAPL Sanity Board member, Valcent Financial Group analyst Victor Castroll, continue to look for volunteers to submit their order details and help continue the pre-order tracking. They’re asking that emails be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the order number with the last three digits Xed out, the number of iPads ordered, the order time, time zone, memory capacity and whether the iPad is Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + 3G.