Apple has sold 1m iPads since its launch on 3 April, passing that sales milestone faster than many analysts had expected.

Apple said today that the 9.7in touchscreen iPad – a new type of device that combines the mobility of a smartphone with the speed of a laptop – reached the million sales mark in 28 days. That was much faster than the iPhone, which took 74 days to sell its first 1m units in 2007.

The company, which has already delayed the international iPad launch by a month, said it continues to have difficulty meeting demand. “Demand continues to exceed supply and we’re working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers,” the chief executive, Steve Jobs, said in a statement.

Analyst Daniel Ernst of Hudson Square Research said early sales had clearly exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. He had previously estimated sales for the entire quarter ending in June at 1.25m.

Ernst said his research indicates that a large portion of buyers are so-called early adopters and people who were already Apple fans, so the breadth of long-term demand is still not clear.

He called the iPad a “game-changer. This is a product that could really redefine how we consume a lot of content”.

Apple has pitched the iPad as an all-purpose media consumption device, good for video, games, electronic books and magazines and web browsing.

Users have so far downloaded 1.5m digital books. Apple also said iPad users have downloaded 12m software applications, or apps. There are more than 5,000 iPad apps available.

Analyst Keith Bachman of BMO Capital Markets said he expected Apple to sell 2m units in the quarter. “In many respects, we are encouraged that the international roll-out will not begin until May, which will sustain strong sales in the September quarter and throughout” 2010, Bachman wrote in a client note.

Apple delayed the international launch of the iPad for a month because of what it said was stronger than expected US demand. International orders will be taken from 10 May. The device will go on sale in nine countries later in the month. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds