IPad Steamroller Crushes Forrester Analyst’s Early Call
“Catalyzed by the introduction of the Apple iPad, the tablet market will kick off with a modest 3.5 million units sold in the US in 2010.”
Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps penned those words back in June. Now, a month later, she’s eating them–largely because the iPad is selling so well. Apple (AAPL) sold 3.27 million of them in the device’s first quarter at market. Now, granted, that was in 10 countries and Epps’s forecast was for the United States alone. Still, international sales of the iPad didn’t begin until May 28 and by that time Apple had already sold more than a million of them in the U.S. And 5 days after Epps issued her prediction, Apple announced it had passed the 3 million iPads sold milestone. So there’s certainly some crow to be eaten here, which Epps, to her credit, willingly chokes down.
“Based on new data from Forrester’s consumer surveys, as well as Apple’s rate of ‘millioning,’ we think our initial forecast was conservative, especially in the short term, and we plan to publish an update later this year once we have more supply-side and consumer data,” she said in a blog post. “One of the assumptions we made in our initial forecast was that the iPad would behave like other similar consumer devices in its first year of adoption: When it went on sale in April, we assumed that sales would be strong based on pent-up demand for a hyped product; we then assumed that sales would slow in a summer slump, as is common with consumer technology purchases; and that sales would spike again in the holiday season. But the iPad isn’t behaving like other consumer devices: It has a steamroller of momentum behind it that indicates incredibly strong demand for this entirely new form factor.”