CONFIRMED: Apple Analyst Pulled 700,000-iPads-Sold Number Out Of His arse*

Yes, Erin, it’s true. I kind of just pulled it out of my arse.

On Saturday afternoon, Piper’s Gene Munster published his estimate that Apple had sold 600,000-700,000 iPads on Day 1.Several observers immediately scoffed: Gene had obviously pulled that number out of his arse!

Gene, of course, didn’t say that he had pulled the number out of his arse.  He said he had called a bunch of Apple Stores and compiled his estimate based on the information he had gathered. 

Based on the precision and magnitude of the number, we figured he also might have dropped a call into Apple HQ to say, “Hey, guys, here’s what I’m estimating.  Am I going to look like a fool?”  That’s what analysts who want to avoid humiliating themselves often do.  And a surprising number of companies play ball — especially when you’re as bullish about their stocks and prospects as Gene is about Apple’s.

But now we know the truth: Gene pulled the number out of his arse!

Ah, well.  To Gene’s credit, last week, he was one of the only analysts with the balls to make a prediction about weekend sales. 

* UPDATE: To Gene’s further credit, he has already fully acknowledged and explained his error.  He also has cut his estimates for iPad sales for the year.  If only all analysts were so forthright.

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