Reports: Apple Will Sell Eight Million iPads by 2012

By  |  Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm

An analyst with Needham & Company has projected that Apple will sell 2 million iPads this year with an additional 6M being sold in 2011. The sales will come at the expense of Apple’s iPod Touch, according to reports today.

Sales will begin moderately. The anticipated spike in sales will occur after “the arrival of a catalyst,” but the report did not specify what that incentive would be. The iTunes store worked before, and it may work again.

That is evidenced by reports of interactive textbooks headed to the iPad. The iPad also could appeal to people who have light computing requirements such as seniors.

In comparison, the iPhone was much more mass market. Over 1 million iPhones were sold within 71 days of its introduction, and sold over 8 million units last quarter. The iPhone has contributed remarkably to Apple’s revenues–without massively cannibalizing the sales of iPods. The iPad could be viewed as a substitute for the iPod Touch.

The thing to keep in mind is that this is only the first iteration of the iPad. There’s no shortage of speculation about what Apple may or may deliver when the iPad ships – from evidence of a camera to an “intelligent bezel.” We don’t know the entire story of what “it” is yet, or what it will become. The iPad could very well end up carrying other Apple products.

Whether those reports are accurate or not, they do prove one thing: there is no shortage of potential for the tablet category. Even if Google enters the market, increased category awareness and growth should only support Apple’s sales.


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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike Cerm Says:

    I think the iPhone HAS cannibalized iPod sales, fairly massively. Until the release of the iPhone, iPod sales were growing. Perhaps they just reached a natural saturation point, but iPod sales-growth has pretty much ceased. It’s pretty simple logic: virtually everyone who now owns an iPhone, previously used to carry an iPod. Now, they have no need. The only people who have any use for an iPod are those who don’t own an iPhone, and each year, that number grows smaller.

    I do agree that, if the iPad is at all successful, it will probably draw most of its sales from would-be iPod Touch owners. It will not, in my opinion, stunt the growth of the netbook market. Netbook buyers are generally looking for a small, cheap alternative to a laptop, and the iPad just isn’t in the same league. Car shoppers who go to look at a Camry may settle on a Corolla, but they’re probably not going to decide on a motorcycle instead.

  2. william Says:

    A Wikipedia article says there are 14 million students of higher learning in the U.S. If the iPad and the other eReaders take over the textbook market, that is pretty huge right there. And since the textbook market seems like a total racket, I don’t think there will be very many people who will be sad to see it change.

  3. Tech Says:

    I think those numbers are overstated. Netbooks are cheaper and more versatile.

  4. tom b Says:

    The iPad comes at a good time. The Kindle and “Nook” have generated interest in E-reader-type devices, but Apple has the first device that actually looks useful.

    “I think those numbers are overstated. Netbooks are cheaper and more versatile.”

    well, no. Have you actually LOOKED at the price of the entry-level iPad? Have you considered that the iPad is much better adapted to a classroom setting, with its speed, ruggedness, and form factor?

  5. Mike Cerm Says:

    tom b: Have YOU looked at the price of the entry-level iPad? Ok, now add the keyboard dock and iWork, because, you’ll be needing those to do any actual school work on an iPad. You’re already over $600, and that’s just for 16GB of storage, which is not a lot considering $300 netbooks come with 160GB.

    Ok, now add in the cost of a PC, so you have something to sync the iPad with. Now you’ve wasted all that money on the iPad, and you should have just gotten a netbook to begin with.

  6. tom b Says:

    Your argument is flawed:

    “Ok, now add in the cost of a PC,”

    People don’t buy a net book as a primary computer; they buy it as a ‘spare”, for the road, or for the kids. As for a keyboard– if the iPhone is any indicator, a ‘physical keyboard” will not be needed for the iPad. And, maybe, you can a discount on iWork. BTW: you would need an office suite for the net book, as well.