The iPad is set to become the fastest selling consumer electronics product in history, with initial sales running at three times that of the current record holder: the DVD player.
“The iPad did not seem destined to be a runaway product success straight out of the box,” retail analyst Colin McGranahan of Bernstein Research wrote in an investors’ note. “By any account, the iPad is a runaway success of unprecedented proportion.”
At the current rate, the iPad will become the 4th biggest consumer electronics category by the end of next year, with estimated sales of more than $9 billion in the U.S. It will be bigger than game hardware and cell phones, trailing only TVs, smartphones and notebook PCs — the current three biggest categories. But these are product categories — and there’s only one iPad.
Apple sold three million units in the first 80 days after the iPad’s April release. Apple is currently selling about 4.5 million units per quarter, Bernstein Research estimates. By comparison, the previous fastest-selling CE device that wasn’t a phone — the DVD player – sold 350,000 units.
Bernstein notes that the iPad is not only cannibalizing sales of netbooks and notebooks, it may also be hurting sales of TVs and digital cameras.