No sooner than we heard Apple's Fifth Avenue flagship store do crazy numbers — 13,000 in 12 hours, about 18 per minute — the company went official with some "record breaking" launch day sales statistics. Since March 16th (just last Friday) Apple has sold over 3 million new iPads across the globe. As Phonescoop's Eric Zeman aptly points out, that's more than RIM has sold PlayBooks and Motorola has sold Xooms in a year... combined. For some perspective, the original iPad took 80 days to sell 3 million. Although we can't find an iPad 2 launch weekend sales figure from Apple (oddly enough), Reuters that following weekend reported and estimated 1 million over its first three days. According to our admittedly rough math skills, that means the new iPad did three times as well.

CUPERTINO, California-March 19, 2012-Apple® today announced it has sold three million of its incredible new iPad®, since its launch on Friday, March 16. The new iPad features a stunning new RetinaTM display, Apple's new A5X chip with quad-core graphics, a 5 megapixel iSight® camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video, and still delivers the same all-day 10 hour battery life* while remaining amazingly thin and light. iPad Wi-Fi + 4G supports ultrafast 4G LTE networks in the US and Canada, and fast networks around the world including those based on HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA.**

"The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold-the strongest iPad launch yet," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can't wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday."

The new iPad is already available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands and will be available in 24 more countries starting at 8:00 a.m. local time on Friday, March 23 through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The new iPad Wi-Fi models are available in black or white for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad Wi-Fi + 4G for either AT&T or Verizon is available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad is sold in the US through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. Additionally, the incredible iPad 2 is now offered at a more affordable price of $399 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and just $529 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.

*Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.

**4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the U.S. and on Bell, Rogers, and Telus networks in Canada. Data plans sold separately.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.