Several industry analysts estimate that Apple’s iPad 2, which became available online early this morning and will go on sale in stores this evening, should handily beat the opening weekend sales achieved last year by the original iPad. Analysts at Creative Strategies, Rodman & Renshaw and Piper Jaffray all concur, and it only seems logical, of course. Inventory shortages played a big role in hampering launch weekend sales of the original iPad model, which sold 300,000 units in its first 24 hours of availability. Despite being an incremental update that disappoints in some areas, the iPad 2 will be much more widely available at launch, with retail partners including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Best Buy, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Target carrying the tablet on top of availability at Apple Stores across the country. The iPad 2 goes on sale at 5:00 p.m. on Friday.