Welcome to the Volkspad. What the Volkswagen did for autos, the iPad could do for mass adoption of Apple computers – or so says a keen observer of Cupertino, analyst Gene Munster. “We see the iPad as the Mac for the masses,” the Piper Jaffray analyst told investors Thursday.
The Apple tablet will be “a secondary computing device for those who already have a primary computer, a primary device for those who could not previously afford a Mac, and the first Apple product that will be a success in the enterprise,” Munster writes. The iPad will outsell the Mac in 2011 with 21 million units expecting to ship next year – nearly doubling the analyst’s previous forecast for 14.5 million tablets. With such a rosy picture, little wonder the analyst believes 94 percent of tablets sold this year will carry an Apple label.
The reason for the iPad’s expected success is three-fold. Apple is breaking out of its traditional sales channels to reach deep into the den of the average consumer: retail. The Cupertino, Calif. company has inked deals putting the iPad in all Best Buy stores and a similar arrangement is possibly in the works for Target. The move comes amid the run-up to the all-important holiday buying period.
Secondly, the iPad will be available in China, India and five Latin American countries. These are “price-sensitive markets,” where the iPad is likely to be used as a primary computing device.
Lastly, while corporations have previously questioned Apple in the workplace, large companies seem to love the iPad. More than 50 percent of Fortune 100 enterprises are either using or testing the iPad, Apple announced in June.
However, there could be storm clouds on the horizon. Munster foresees Google’s Android operating system as the chief challenger to the iPad. The next Android version, codenamed “Gingerbread,” is said to include tablet support.
Despite the potential problems from Google, Apple should sees higher revenue. Munster estimates the iPad maker will earn $83.13 billion – up from $78.96 billion.