Study: Immediate iPad sales will disappoint

Ronny Kerr · March 31, 2010 · Short URL:

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

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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