Apple has revealed the early sales figures for the iPad: 300,000 sold as of midnight on Saturday, April 3.

The weekend's total numbers have yet to be officially confirmed, but industry analysts are claiming the iPad sold between 600,000 and 700,000 tablets. Apple itself said that it sold more than 300,000 iPads on the first day.

The figure was in line with analyst estimates, though some analysts, such as Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, had even higher sales projections of 600,000 to 700,000 units.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the long lines petered out at many Apple stores by midafternoon.

But Apple CEO Steve Jobs welcomed the initial sales: “It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world—it’s going to be a game changer.”

Apple sold 270,000 original iPhones in the first 30 hours or so of its availability, so the iPad has outsold the iPhone on day one.

Sales also compare favourably to later iPhone models. Apple sold one million of both the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS in each of their first weekends—that’s an average of about 333,333 per day. It took the original iPhone 74 days to reach its millionth sale. How well the iPad will sell in the long term will stay unclear for another few quarters.

Both apps and e-books are going to be a big part of the iPad’s success. In addition to the iPad sales number, Apple said that iPad users downloaded more than a million apps from the App Store and more than 250,000 e-books from the iBookstore in the first day alone. Said Jobs: “iPad users, on average, downloaded more than three apps and close to one book within hours of unpacking their new iPad.”

The tablet will launch in the UK at the end of April.

Brennon Slattery and Dan Moren contributed to this article.