Just how popular is the new iPad? How about 3 million popular? That's the number from Apple, which has announced that it sold more than 3 million units of the new iPad during the opening weekend.

“The new iPad is a blockbuster with 3 million sold - the strongest iPad launch yet,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vic- president of Worldwide Marketing.

To put it into even more impressive figures, that is almost 42,000 an hour or 694 iPads sold every minute for the first 72 hours. Whether you think that the iPad is the best thing since sliced bread, or believe it is a complete waste of time and money, it's an impressive figure. 

The new iPad went on sale in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland and the US Virgin Islands on Friday, 16 March, selling out online, but still leaving plenty of stock in store.

Apple says the global roll-out will continue this Friday (23 March) with the iPad going on sale in a further 25 countries, including New Zealand, most of Europe and Mexico.

Apple hasn't said which of the initial launch countries ordered the most or which model was the most popular. However, an exit poll conducted by Dynamo PR in the UK at the Apple Regent Street store showed that the black 64GB Wi-Fi + 4G  version was the most popular, with 57 per cent plumping for the top-of-the-range model.

That's a big difference from the iPad 2 launch in the UK in 2011. The same exit poll found that the most popular model was the 16GB Wi-Fi model, and for the original iPad, the most popular was the 32GB Wi-Fi model.

Did you buy one? Let us know in the comments below...