iPad: 50,000 sales in 2 hours, Apple TV bumped, mysterious app icon

The introduction of the iPad Friday morning sold an estimated 50,000 units in two hours, and also bumped Apple’s “hobby,” the Apple TV, from the front page of its online store. Also, a mysterious icon included in iPad promotional pictures gains attention, and Apple has expanded its site to explain features of the coming hardware in greater detail.

iPad sales estimated at 25,000 per hour

After it went on sale at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Friday, the iPad is estimated to have sold 51,000 in its first two hours. As discovered by Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune Brainstorm Tech, users at the Investor VillageAAPL Sanity Board took their order numbers and attempted to crack the code to figure out total sales.

Victor Castroll, analyst with Valcent Financial Group and member of the AAPL Sanity Board, has been monitoring the spreadsheet and came up with the calculation of 51,000 units in the first two hours.

iPad preorder bumps Apple TV from front page of online store

In accepting preorders for the iPad on Friday, Apple made some minor adjustments to the front page of its online store. As a result, the Apple TV product and its accompanying picture were bumped and are no longer featured atop the store’s main page.

The Apple TV used to be featured prominently alongside the company’s line iPods, the iPhone and Macs. Now users must scroll down and find it in the left column under the “For iPod” heading.

Last month, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said his company still views the Apple TV as a “hobby,” and noted that sales of the product simply don’t compare to the consumer markets for smartphones, computers and MP3 players. Cook said he doesn’t believe the Apple TV will remain dormant, but it may take time for the potential market for the device to grow.

“Because our gut says something is there, we’re continuing to invest in this,” Cook said. “But today, it’s still just a hobby.”

Last October, Apple released the 3.0 software update for Apple TV, featuring a redesigned main menu that made navigating content simpler and faster. It also added support for the new iTunes LP and iTunes Extras formats.

Apple Store

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