Apple has announced that it sold three million iPads during the first weekend following the launch of the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad.

In a press release sent out today, Apple said that in the three days since the new iPads hit the shelves, the company has sold "double the previous first weekend milestone of 1.5 million WiFi only models sold for the third-generation iPad in March."

Both the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad have launched as WiFi only, and the cellular versions of the tablets are set to be released in the US "in a few weeks" and "in many more countries later this year," says Apple.

"Customers around the world love the new iPad mini and fourth generation iPad," claims Apple CEO Tim Cook. "We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis. We're working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand."

There were many customers who pre-ordered their iPad mini ahead of its launch on Friday, but shipping dates for lots of those orders have been pushed back. "Demand for iPad mini exceeded the initial supply and while many of the pre-orders have been shipped to customers, some are scheduled to be shipped later this month."

Apple doesn't specify individual numbers for the two iPads, but it is likely that the iPad mini exceeded analyst Gene Munster's prediction that Apple would sell 1.5 million of the 7.9in tablets this weekend.

Apple sold three million total units of the third-generation of iPad during the first three days when it launched in March this year, and five million iPhone 5 within the launch weekend in September.

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