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The odds are stacked against Apple's new iPad reaching sales of 1 million as quickly as the iPhone, an online bookmaker said.

The iPhone, which went on sale in June 2007, took 74 days to get to the 1 million mark. The iPad, a tablet device that debuts on April 3, has a 72 per cent probability of taking longer than that, according to YouWager.com, which began taking bets on the topic this week.

"No matter what they put out on the market, there's going to be large sales, but with this particular product, we don't think it's as practical as the iPhone," said Brian Sanz, who works on wagering, auditing and research development for YouWager.com.

Apple started taking preorders orders for the iPad last week, promoting it as a "magical" product that combines elements of smartphones and notebook computers. The device, which starts at US$499 ($700), has a 25cm touch screen and can serve up web pages, email, music, videos, electronic books and iPhone applications.

Paddy Power, Ireland's biggest bookmaker, has open betting with 3-to-1 odds that iPad sales will surge past 6 million in 2010. On the other end of the spectrum, the firm has 8-to-1 odds that fewer than 1 million units will sell.

Apple has received hundreds of thousands of iPad preorders, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter. "Tablets are really emerging devices," said Angela McIntyre, a California-based research director with Gartner. She expects 4.2 million iPads to be sold in its first year.

"We'll have to see over time if consumers adopt them, if they find it's fulfilling a need that's not readily met by a smartphone or mini-notebook."

Selling a million units in 74 days has emerged as an industry benchmark for consumer technology.

Flurry, a company that tracks smartphone use, estimated this week that Google's Nexus One has sold about 135,000 units in its first 74 days.

As the iPhone did, Motorola's Droid phone managed to hit the 1 million mark in that amount of time, according to Flurry.

- BLOOMBERG