iPads and Kindles push Black Friday weekend to new records

CNN has the news that unsurprisingly, Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindles were hot items this past weekend as online shopping in general jumped 39.3 percent on Thanksgiving Day and 24.3 percent on Black Friday compared to last year, according to IBM's Coremetrics. Some reports from industry analysts say that Apple's retail stores enjoyed their biggest sales day of all time on Black Friday.

Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray spent his Black Friday standing inside an Apple retail store and counting sales, just as he's done every year since 2008. While this doesn't seem like the most scientific of methods for national or global metrics, his findings are still interesting. In the eight hours he spent counting sales in the store, he found that iPads sold at a rate of 14.8 per hour, with Macs selling at a rate of 10.1 per hour. This is a 68 percent increase in iPad sales from last year, when Apple's tablet computers left the store at an observed rate of 8.8 per hour. This growth increase is actually lower than Munster's prediction of 84 percent, but he expects overseas iPad sales to make up the difference. Mac sales were up 23 percent this year, with 8.2 per hour being sold in 2010. Apple's Black Friday discounts, while modest, still probably contributed to their rarely discounted hardware selling even faster than normal.

The good news extends to Amazon as well, as Black Friday was the biggest sales day ever for the line of Kindle e-readers and tablets, according to a representative from Amazon. Not only that, but many Kindle purchasers are buying more than one, probably to give out as gifts for Christmas.

With only a few short weeks left until Christmas, most people probably got the bulk of their gift buying done over this past weekend. Is your shopping list all checked off?

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