Speculation has run rampant as to how many people will grab an iPad following its launch Saturday. But at least one market researcher is predicting huge sales for the tablet this year and beyond.
Worldwide sales of Apple's new device are expected to reach 7.1 million units this year, according to a preliminary forecast released Friday by iSuppli. Sales will double to 14.4 million units next year and triple to 20.1 million in 2012, the research firm predicts.
Though the iPad initially generated a fair amount of negative reaction, several recent reviews in the press have been much more favorable. The tablet's design, applications, and multitouch interface will compensate for any perceived limitations and will lead to huge demand by early adopters this year, iSuppli predicts.
Growth will continue to soar in 2011 and 2012 as more iPad apps hit the market, and as Apple improves the tablet's functionality and lowers its price, said iSuppli. In fact, the company believes its sales forecast could prove conservative if Apple enhances certain features sooner than expected and reconsiders its lack of support for Flash.
"2010 sales could potentially climb much higher than the 7 million figure, and that first year success--combined with expected ongoing innovation--will help to keep Apple at the forefront of the tablet market for several years," Rhoda Alexander, iSuppli's director of monitor research, said in a statement. "Key to continuing success will be how quickly Apple responds to issues as they arise and whether the company can align suppliers to meet demand needs."… Read more