Study: Immediate iPad sales will disappoint

As Apple stock rises days before iPad launch, Bernstein Research predicts lower sales than expected

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
March 31, 2010 | Comments (2)
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Tomorrow is April 1. That means we'll actually be in the same month that the mythical Apple tablet sees its launch: Saturday, April 3.

A few days ago, we posted a round-up of the latest news surrounding the super-hyped iPad, including reports that Apple's stock has risen nearly 17% since the company announced the new device in late January. Even more astonishing were the figures showing that Apple's stock has doubled since this time last year.

Nevertheless, the latest data from Bernstein Research, led by Toni Sacconaghi, Jr., predicts that investors may have been a bit "overzealous" in assumptions about how well the iPad will sell in the short-term.

In its first twelve months, Apple should expect to sell about five million iPads, Bernstein says, based on first-year sales of comparable products. While the iPod, Kindle, PalmPilot, and AppleTV--all successful products at some point--sold less than one million units in their first years, devices with more specific niches have sold many more times figure. For example, Apple sold 6.1 million iPhones and about 6 million iPod Touches in their first years, respectively.

Bernstein iPad data
The iPad, which falls somewhere between an iPhone and a netbook, probably won't exceed iPhone sales, says Bernstein data.

Even more immediately, Bernstein expects about 300K to 400K iPads to fly off the shelves over launch weekend, including devices ordered during the presale, which began March 12. Like the iPhone launch, the iPad launch is US-exclusive. Additionally, since the iPad launch price nearly matches the iPhone launch price, Bernstein believes the iPad will exceed launch weekend sales of the iPhone, which totaled to 270K.

Still, the data concludes that overall, investors may be disappointed with first-year sales of Apple's tablet.

Nevertheless, Bernstein accurately predicts that the iPad will evolve to encompass new features and functions, making the device more attractive to more customers in the future.

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Erixun H, on April 1, 2010

"Immediate iPad sales will disappoint".... disappoint whom? I think Apple knows most of its sales will be to existing ipod/iphone users and they are not trying to carve out a new niche market. The App store is compatible on both so its current line up of App producers will have immediate access to the new devices.

120,000 units ordered online on the first day of pre-order availability is not too bad. Do we know what Apple was expecting (like stats on the numbers produced on the first lineup)?

Vince Dowd, on April 5, 2010

I think you are way off on this one. The people I know bought more than 1 of them. I think the sales will blow the i phone out of the water. The stock is undervalued and will be a $300 stock by year end unless the economy takes it down. The key is to "Bet on the Jockey and not on the Horse". Steve Jobs is one of the best visionaries of our time. As for me I have traded AAPL on options quite a bit but am not in now, would like to see a pullback which typically happens after product release. I say AAPL on pullback is a buy! Vince Dowd

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