Analysts estimate 1 million iPad 2 sales over the first weekend

Analysts expect Apple to have sold close to a million iPad 2 devices on the debut weekend, creating around $633 million in revenue, and the Smart Cover may even break $1 billion in revenue this year.

The iPad 2 went on sale on Friday at 5pm to walk in buyers and at 4am to online buyers and there were crowds around the block. Best Buy US said on Friday that some of its outlets ran out of the tablet and its accessories within 10 minutes.

“We would not be surprised to see Apple sell closer to 1 million iPad2s in the opening weekend,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland.

Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry estimates Apple may have sold three times more iPad 2 in the first two days compared to the previous version.

If the 1 million figures are right and the average sale for the iPad 2 remains the same as the original iPad, then Apple will have produced a revenue of around $633 million on the first weekend – the original iPad produced a revenue of $9.5 billion on 15 million sales giving an average revenue of $633 per device.

The profile of iPad 2 buyer is much the same as the original iPad owner. Chowdhry said that 60% of iPad 2 owners were existing iPad owners, and only 40% were first time iPad buyers, and 100% own at-least One Apple Product.

Horace Dediu at Asymco estimates that the iPad by itself should generate $23 billion in revenue and a contribution of $7.7 billion in profits. He also estimates that the Smart Cover will bring in a further 10% ($777 million) with at least 60% of iPad buyers buying one along with their iPad, and estimates a total revenue for Smart Covers will top $1 billion this year.