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3Q review: The iPad adds over $700 million of operating profit with an average selling price of $662

The iPad units numbers were not a surprise (except perhaps to some of the professional analysts who do not read Apple’s press releases). Among the more accurate (amateur) analysts, the range was from 3.2 to 3.45 million with an average of 3.32.  My estimate of 3.3 million was the mode of the distribution.

Apple sold 3.270 million in the first ever quarter.  The ASP came in at $662.39, below my expected $700 but higher than the iPhone.

The only unknown is the gross margin.  Given the overall GM and the other products’ margins, I am backing out a 33% margin for the quarter.  I had expected 40% but the lower margin may be a result of launch quarter issues (shipping and allocation of stock) and perhaps a lower target margin for the product.  It should be noted that the iPad margin sits between the Mac and iPod (around 30%) and the iPhone (around 60%).  The iPad is a new category that sits between the Mac and iPhone in terms of usage and it seems it sits also half-way in terms of margins.  Going forward, I’m still modeling a 40% GM for the iPad.

Overall, I estimate the iPad added $717 million of operating profit to Apple’s bottom line. Not bad for a product that was almost universally panned on launch day.