At 4 a.m. EST, the iPad 2 went on sale on Apple's website. Between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. this afternoon, more than 200 Apple stores across the country will shut down to prepare for the release of the new tablet. And when those doors open back up, everyone is predicting a crush of consumers. With a story released just after midnight, Bloomberg reported that Apple could sell more than thanĀ half a million units over the iPad 2's debut weekend, which would be double what the original iPad moved.

The iPad line is the fastest-selling technology product in history, measured by revenue, said Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies Inc. In less than three months, it topped $2 billion -- a milestone the iPhone took more than six quarters to reach. The second version has a head start on rivals, which are only now releasing their first models. It's also benefiting from distribution through additional retail outlets.

"Apple has such a huge lead," said Bajarin, who has covered the industry for more than 20 years and works as a technology consultant. He projects 500,000 units in two days. "Competitors are going to be chasing Apple for many years."

Bajarin -- along with analysts from Rodman & Renshaw LLC and Piper Jaffray & Co. -- also predicts the device will outsell the first iPad, which came out in April. Apple will get a boost from offering a white model for the first time, he said.

Read the full story at Bloomberg.

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