Apple began accepting pre-orders for the iPad, its new touch-screen gadget, on Friday with an estimated 50,000 unites being sold in the first two hours.

According to Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune Brainstorm Tech, users at the Investor Village AAPL Sanity Board took their order numbers and attempted to crack the code to figure out total sales and found that 50,000 units were sold.

Victor Castroll, analyst with Valcent Financial Group and member of the AAPL Sanity Board, has been monitoring the spreadsheet and came up with the calculation of 51,000 units in the first two hours.

IPads with Wi-Fi wireless connections will go on sale on April 3 for $499 and up. Apple Inc. says people from the U.S. can pre-order online and get it on April 3 where Saturday delivery is available. 3G models start at $629 for a 16GB device, but only Wi-Fi models will be shipping 3 April.

Shoppers can also reserve an iPad online, then pay for it and pick it up at a local Apple store.

Apple says versions of the iPad with cellular data connections and Wi-Fi will go on sale at the end of April.