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.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.