General expectations of the Apple iPad’s level of success are overly pessimistic, says a Broadpoint AmTech report, which predicts 2010 sales of up to 4 million units
Think the Apple iPad is nice enough, but no show-stopper? Don’t be too quick to judge, Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall wrote in a 9 March research note to investors, predicting that the next major catalyst for a rise in Apple shares will be the iPad launch. ”We believe the general consensus (i.e., select media outlets’) view of this device and its potential is overly pessimistic,” Marshall wrote.
“We note the vast majority of the naysayers have not yet had the opportunity to use the iPad on a firsthand basis. As we stated in the past, we were hooked after the first 15 minutes of use,” Marshall continued. “In our view, the true genius of the device is its media/content aspects (e.g., ebooks, newspapers/magazines, Apps/games, movies/TV episodes, etc.) which we believe will be recurring in nature.”
Broadpoint AmTech said it estimates that in 2011, iPad-related recurring revenue from content purchases will approach approximately 30 percent of iPad hardware sales.
After months of media speculation, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPad in January and announced in early March that the device will arrive in US stores on 3 April and in the UK later in the month.
While Apple is rumored to expect sales of 10 million iPads in 2010, others have predicted more modest sales. Rapid Repair CEO Aaron Vronko, for example, though before the iPad’s introduction, guessed that a phone-free device not intended to replace the iPhone would more likely sell 1 million to 5 million units in the first year. Additionally, a poll by electronics site Retrevo suggested that after Apple’s big reveal, fewer customers wanted iPads than before when the slate-style device was still a thing of rumor.
However, partnerships and feature announcements are mounting up, adding to the device’s growing promise. The Associated Press and Conde Nast are developing content for the iPad, and iPhone OS-based VOIP (voice over IP) solutions will presumably translate to the iPad.
The iPad’s e-reader capabilities reportedly also have rivals such as Sony considering their next steps. Broadpoint said it estimates that iPad sales will reach 4 million units in 2010—up from its original estimate of 2.2 million units. ”If the device lives up to its potential, we believe actual unit shipments could approach 7 million-plus units in [calendar year 2010],” Marshall added. He reiterated the company’s previous advice to buy Apple stock, and closed with words that seem to end each of his documents on the company: “In our view, Apple remains the best technology company on the planet, with numerous catalysts on the horizon. … We currently see no real business model issues.”