iPad orders slow after initial stampede

Orders for the Apple iPad fell sharply over the weekend, indicating that most of the real obsessives bought one on Friday.

Venezuelan analyst Daniel Tello reckons the company had a whopping 50,000 pre-orders in the first two hours on Friday, rising to 120,000 for the first full day.

But over the weekend that slipped to a comparative trickle, of around 1,000 per hour. Over the next couple of weeks, says Tello, there’s likely to be around 30,000 preorders on weekdays and half that on weekends.

Tello – aka Deagol – tracks order numbers supplied by volunteers on the AAPL Sanity Board at Investor Village. But his calculations are therefore produced by multiplying up from a comparatively small sample.

If the pattern continues as Tello expects, though, orders should hit half a million by the time of the official launch on April 3, and a million by about two weeks later.

Two-thirds of pre-orders were for the Wifi-only model.

Tello concedes he could do with more volunteers to give some of their order details. He wants order numbers – with the last three digits XXX’d out – number of iPads ordered, time, time zone, memory capacity and whether the order was for a 3G or Wifi model.

Email him at ipadsales10@gmail.com.