John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple’s iPad: The Analysts Sound Off

It’s still a bit early to claim any consensus reaction to Apple’s new iPad among Wall Street analysts. That said, there seems to be some agreement that the device has significant market potential, especially with the attractive pricing Apple has given it.

It remains to be seen whether Apple (AAPL) has created an entirely new computing category with the iPad. But at the very least, analysts seem to believe the company has created an enduring growth engine.

  • Charlie Wolf, Needham & Company
    “Because Apple is defining a new category of devices, sales of the iPad are likely to ramp slowly. But the $500 starting price point is low enough to attract a sizable portion of the early adopter crowd, consisting of iPhone and iPod owners. It’s noteworthy that the iPad’s initial price is below the iPhone’s initial price and not much higher than the price of the first iPod, introduced in 2001. Our best guess at this time is the Apple could sell four million iPads in its initial year on the market, which translates into at least $2 billion of revenue.”
  • Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray
    “Originally we were estimating sales of 2m units in the first calendar year at a price point of $600-$800. With the actual $499/$629 price point, we believe Apple will sell 3m-4m units in the first 12 months….After using the iPad, we believe it will cannibalize iPod touch sales, but not Mac sales. The gadget is a premium mobile device, not a computer; as such, we see some iPod touch buyers stepping up to the iPad, but consumers looking for an affordable portable computer will likely stick with the MacBook lineup.”
  • James McQuivey, Forrester
    “The iPad is a grown up iPod Touch. Apple has taken the safe route of offering its existing customers an option that goes beyond today’s iPod Touch in size and capability, but it has not offered a new category of devices that tackles the 5-6 hours of media we each consume every day. With no integrated social media for sharing photos, recommending books, and sharing home video, the iPad misses a big piece of what makes media so powerful. As it stands, by relying on the App Store as the single most important draw of the device besides its attractiveness, the iPod Touch is a significant step toward making tablets respectable. But making tablets respectable should have been the least of Apple’s ambitions. It had (and still has) the opportunity to create a new media experience in consumers’ lives. As it stands, a quick, well-structured response from Amazon in the next version of Kindle could easily be a contender here. That’s why I say that the iPad is priced lower than expected because it is less revolutionary than expected.”
  • Mike Abramsky, RBC
    “Like the first iPod and iPhone, uptake may in time surprise as future versions improve and costs decline. The iPad’s intuitiveness and simplicity at key tasks (browsing, email, media, watching videos, games, reading, working) may appeal to consumers for whom existing PC experiences are intimidating, inadequate, delivering 90%+ of the features of traditional PCs with less complexity than traditional PCs. Uptake however may require in-store demos to truly experience the richness of iPad’s experience.”
  • Tavis McCourt, Morgan Keegan
    “The iPad has been long anticipated so we are not shocked by the lack of stock movement. Given the price point, we suspect initial sales will be strong (this is Apple, and there are many enthusiasts), and then simmer down a bit after a few months. The ultimate success of a new product category will be the unique apps developed for this device, and with the SDK just going out today, it is hard to know how impressive they will be. However, the good news is that aside from maybe modest iPod Touch cannibalization, we doubt that the iPad will cannibalize any revenues from the massive margin pools within the iPhone and Mac product categories.”
  • Craig Moffett, Bernstein Research
    “Longer term, the iPad offers the potential to redefine the boundaries between print and video, turning formerly passive media into active ones, and in the process making what are currently low bandwidth applications (say, reading a newspaper) become much more bandwidth intensive (e.g. by embedding video rather than still pictures).”
  • Mark Moskowitz, J.P. Morgan
    “iPad is not for everyone, and the first-generation product is sure to have its critics given the prelaunch buzz. In our view, the iPad is a smart, nimble device for heavy content users–Apple’s core customer. iPad is a hybrid of sorts, marrying select benefits of the smartphone and notebook. We expect the market to be small at first, but the gamer and education verticals should construct a meaningful growth ramp longer term.”

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