Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

Summary: With Apple's iPad 2 event reportedly set for March, analysts are scurrying to predict how many tablets the company can sell.

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With Apple's iPad 2 event reportedly set for March, analysts are scurrying to predict how many tablets the company can sell.

Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes takes the first crack at guesstimates:

iPad 2 shipments are likely still on track for an April release with Apple having finalized the iPad 2 design and specifications in February. We continue to believe Apple will launch the iPad with an event in March. We expect iPad sales will increase significantly in 2011, benefiting from a major upgrade that features a thinner and lighter design, along with cameras and FaceTime calling. Our iPad unit estimate for calendar first quarter is 5.1 million, which takes into account seasonality after the holiday buying season and a potential lull before iPad 2 ships in April. Long term, we estimate 28.8 million iPad units for fiscal year 2011 (33.7 million for calendar year 2011) and 40 million for FY12 (42.1 million for CY12) which are likely quite conservative.

Others are likely to follow. But one thing is clear: Apple's iPad 2 is expected to really scale the company's sales.

The only wild-card here is Android tablets. So far, Android tablets still can't hang on price with Apple's iPad. However, analysts say that Android tablets are quickly going to be commoditized and that means prices are going to fall. When unsubsidized Android tablets hit the $399 mark then you'll see some competition for Apple.

Don't think you'll get those prices? Jefferies analyst Peter Misek isn't so sure. He highlighted a tablet from Malata, a Chinese white box manufacturer, that featured a Honeycomb tablet with Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip. Malata will launch this tablet in the second quarter in China and Italy, but it will make it to the U.S. "Malata's solid product illustrates that Honeycomb will quickly commoditize Android tablets," said Misek. "In the near-term, handset OEMs are in the lead due to PC OEMs and the PC supply chain having less experience purchasing and integrating key tablet components (NAND, mobile DRAM, ARM chips, etc.)."

Related:

Topics: Hardware, Android, Apple, iPad, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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67 comments
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  • Hhmm. Something doesn't sound right.

    If Apple does indeed throw a 2 March event, I don't expect an April ship date. Apple traditionally prefers to say "available now" with follow-on products. Otherwise they're going to kill iPad sales for the entire month of March and as much of April until ship date. Who'd buy a 1st gen iPad knowing something better is coming. So either iPad2 will be more expensive (which I doubt), original iPads are about sold-out (not reflected in the Apple store), or we're not going to see a March 2nd iPad2 announcement. I'm not sure which is right, but something is incongruous here.
    matthew_maurice
    • agreed

      @matthew_maurice
      but the march, 2nd announcement is official. so my guess: the ipad 2 will be available in mid march and the ipad1 16gb wifi variant will be lowered to $399 immediately.
      banned from zdnet
      • Yeah, I'll go with that.

        @banned from zdnet And everyone who got a new iPad for Christmas will learn the most important lesson about being an Apple customer, namely that unless you buy a product shortly after launch Apple will release a better and/or cheaper product within 8 weeks of when you buy.

        Which is another reason why I believe we'll also see an iPad 3 in September. Moving the "annual" iPad release to the "holiday season" (i.e. Apple's fiscal year Q1) will make life more pleasant for holiday shoppers.
        matthew_maurice
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

        @matthew_maurice

        Rule of thumb...if you don't get it within the first six months of launch..WAIT.
        Ron Burgundy
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

        @ matthew_maurice<br><br>The first gen. iPad isn't a bad product so most people won't feel too bad and the re-sale value on Apple products is very high they should be able to get a good amount of money that they can put toward iPad 2.
        LP212
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

      @matthew_maurice
      Apple is not Vaporware like BB with their tablets... expect something huge with a lot of sales.
      Hasam1991
    • not an issue, really

      @matthew_maurice Apple has worked themselves into a curious position. Yes, it is generally a bad idea to announce an upgrade/replacement before its available, lest you kill existing sales. This was proven in the early days by Osborne, and has been a general rule.

      Problem is, Apple has a very predictable schedule. You KNOW there's a new iPhone coming in June, new Macs and iPods in September, and new iPad in March/April. Apple sales arew going to tank in the lead-up to these announcements anyway, because everyone who's not sleeping in class knows these dates.

      Not that the iPad 2 announcement is a pre-announcement. The first was, a little bit. But if this one is, it might actually help Apple's iPad sales. First, it removes uncertainty... the current iPad can't possibly measre up to everyone's imaginings about iPad 2. Could be they keep iPad 1 in the product line... either at a lower price, or maybe iPad 2 hits a higher price. A price drop could boost sales, immdiately.

      This could also boost Android tablet sales... will the iPad 2 measure up to the new Android common spec: dual 1GHz ARM Cortex A9s, 512MB-1GB RAM, cameras, USB, microSD, etc as built-in? While Android tablets are really waiting for Honeycomb to be successful, there are probably many potential customers in a holding pattern, waiting to see what Apple will do next.
      Hazydave
  • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

    More like potential sales flop. I can't see people going out and spending another $600 on a useless device like this. Only those that are the biggest fans will buy into it just like they did with the 1st gen iPad. So that was $600 then, and another $600 now. More money than brains.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

      @Loverock Davidson
      So Apple and the iPad must have a hell of a lot of the so called "biggest fans" you mentioned.
      MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

        @MG537
        Yep, Apple fans are the only ones who bought the iPad.
        Loverock Davidson
    • Wait! You are not dealing with &quot;normal&quot; people!

      @Loverock Davidson ;
      These are Apple Fans - just longing for a session with a Genius who will configure their treasured i-thingie.
      They will probably gladly pay more, lots more!
      pikeman666
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

        @pikeman666
        True!
        Loverock Davidson
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

        @pikeman666 What a HOOT! I know of 4 close friends ... all Windoz users that bought and LOVE their iPad. Oh ... and their 4 yr. old knows how to use it and she can't even READ! Try THAT with Windoz!
        fissi
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

        @fissi... I always love that 4 yr old argument... My kids were both using Windows 98 PCs at 3 yrs old daily... they knew how to point and click the icons for their games on the desktop....just like kids can use the iPad and tap(click) on the icons to start a game. Not sure why it takes age to point and click? On the other hand, Good luck at having anyone of any age get the stupid iPad to sync with iTunes when the horribly written driver decides to fail...again. It is a disgrace.
        condelirios
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

      @Loverock Davidson

      I have plenty of money and brains Loverock..that's how I make my money..

      Jealous much?

      You're the most useless person here.

      Where's your WP7? Oh wait

      "I can't wait to get one"....

      LOSER.
      Ron Burgundy
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

        @Ron Burgundy
        Be nice.....golly gee
        swcook6
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

        @Ron Burgundy

        Notice my posts don't get deleted LoserRock. There's a reason...you're unqualified and clueless..
        Ron Burgundy
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

        @Ron Burgundy They may not get deleted but you sure do sound like an elitist snob. Not saying you are, but your posts sure do make you sound that way. Just something to think about.
        StupidTechZealots-23432415690276115908309621553360
    • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

      @Loverock Davidson Based on your argument, the tablet market must be on the decline. That explains why every electronics company in the world is scrambling to develop a tablet that can compete with the iPad.
      TTF7
      • RE: Apple's iPad 2: The waiting game ahead of a potential sales boom

        @TTF7
        And as I've been saying they are wasting their time developing tablets. Its a terrible form factor. If the iPad didn't have Apple's name on it no one would be buying it.
        Loverock Davidson