Apple Inc. said it sold more than 300,000 iPads in the U.S., including preorders, on the first day the device was available, hitting all but the highest estimates for the product.

Media attention and early crowds across the country at Apple retail stores had some expecting a bigger figure, with one analyst predicting as many as 700,000 iPad sales the first day. Compared with other Apple product launches, however, analysts said the results were still impressive.

"It looks like initial sales are starting solid," ThinkEquity analyst Vijay Rakesh said.

Apple also said users downloaded more than one million applications and 250,000 e-books from its iBookstore during the first day.

Apple hadn't offered iPad sales forecasts, but over the weekend, swarms of buyers flocked to stores after weeks of publicity about the tablet-style computer. Despite long early lines, crowds thinned throughout the day, and few stores sold out of the device.

Full story: WSJ