How does Apple compete with the inexpensive netbooks without a netbook? One analyst believes the answer is to call it an iPad. The Cupertino, Calif. company’s tablet device could take 4 percent of netbook sales this year and 7 percent in 2011, Deutsche Bank said.
The iPad, unveiled last week, will “compete very well” against netbooks, particularly where “surfing, reading, game playing and emailing dominate the usage model,” analyst Chris Whitmore said.
He believes the iPad could expand Apple’s addressable market by at least 50 million units, selling 2 million of the tablets this year and 4 million in 2011. Additionally, the device could push Apple’s existing iPhone OS, App Store and developer base “into another very large segment of the market.”
The Deutsche Bank analyst downplayed the importance of the iPad lacking features such as multi-tasking, video camera and USB port. “For most non-technical consumers, these features are not critical” and could be answered through after-market products. Instead, the iPad will attract consumers for its speed, display, apps and iTunes.
In January, a display supplier, said the iPad could quickly dominate the current PC-based tablet market. The iPad could “achieve annual sales of 10 million units, which is a significant estimate considering the current tablet PC market is only about 3 million a year,” said Paul Peng, executive vice-president of AU Optronics’ global business unit. AUO makes LCD displays.