Apple's iPad: A year to gain steam and breakout in 2011?

Apple's iPad: A year to gain steam and breakout in 2011?

Summary: Analysts say that they expect a measured adoption curve for Apple's iPad with sales momentum accelerating in 2011.

SHARE:

Analysts say that they expect a measured adoption curve for Apple's iPad with sales momentum accelerating in 2011.

Apple on Wednesday unveiled the iPad, a 10" tablet aimed at both the netbook and e-reader markets. The pricing of the iPad---starting at $499---was lower than many folks expected. That lower pricing, which was designed to get the device into as many hands as possible, is likely to mean higher shipments in 2010 and more adoption in 2011.

Special Report: Meet the iPad: $499 and up

Techmeme, Apple statement

In a research note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said:

The pricing is lower than we were expecting. We are raising our estimates for the first calendar year of sales from 2m to 3m-4m vs. an anticipated Street consensus number of 4m-5m. We have measured enthusiasm for the device's first year (2010), but we expect 2011 to be a breakout year for the iPad adding $4.6b (7.5%) to revenue in CY11.

In other words, Munster is expecting some skepticism about the iPad despite today's initial enthusiasm. Munster said the device is targeting the "casual computing market" between the iPhone and MacBook. In reality, the iPad is likely to ding sales of the iPod touch.

After using the iPad, we believe it will cannibalize iPod touch sales, but not Mac sales. The gadget is a premium mobile device, not a computer; as such, we see some iPod touch buyers stepping up to the iPad, but consumers looking for an affordable portable computer will likely stick with the MacBook lineup.

In other words, Munster expects a lot of consumers to ask why they need a tweener device.

Phil Cusick, an analyst at Macquarie Research, considers the iPad to be an incremental device for many users. He's projecting 5 million iPad units in 2010.

Also: Video: 60 seconds with the iPad

Topics: Enterprise Software, Apple, Hardware, iPad, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

2 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • 5 million?

    Really, has the AppleTV sold that many?
    nothingness
  • Not so sure about "ding" to iPod Touch

    The Touch will still appeal to people who don't want an
    AT&T phone, but want a "pocketable" mobile computing
    device. Of those it does "cannibalize" from the Touch
    Apple will still make more money on those customers,
    assuming a similar gross margin.

    What this device really does is bring in the "casual users"
    who don't want to spend the $1000 for a Macbook as well
    as give a new, intermediate device to existing Mac owners
    who want more portability. Plus, a lot of iPhone and
    Macbook [Pro] owners will add one to fill the niche of
    more/bigger than iPhone and less/lighter than Macbook.
    matthew_maurice