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Apple sells 500,000 iPads, runs out of stock

Big-demand debut, says analyst

Business security measures using SSL

Apple is estimated to have shifted half a million iPad 2s this weekend - almost all of them within 24 hours of the 'even more magical' gadget going on sale on Friday.

Last year, the Mac maker shifted 300,000 iPads in the first day of the tablet's availability.

This year's total comes from Apple watcher and Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. He told investor clients this weekend that calls put in to Apple, Target and Best Buy outlets revealed they had all sold out of the tweaked tablet, Bloomberg reports.

Apple is currently taking orders online in the US - but buyers won't get their iPad 2 for "3-4 weeks" now, whatever model they want.

Here in Blighty, Apple has yet to start taking orders for the iPad 2, which is due to go on sale in less than two weeks' time, on 25 March.

Last year, Apple was forced to delay the UK release because it needed all the iPads its contract manufacturers could punch out to meet demand in the US. ®

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