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Apple tablet unlikely to make a major dent in sales?

updated 10:20 am EDT, Fri August 7, 2009

Piper on Apple tablet

Apple's rumored tablet device is real, but it should not be expected to have the financial impact of something like the iPhone, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The tablet is claimed to have been verified through talk with an Asian component supplier. Munster's predictions, though, hold that it will ship in 2010 instead of 2009, and only start pushing Apple growth in 2011.

Assuming Apple sells 2 million tablets in 2010 at an average price of $600, the company should accumulate $1.2 billion in revenue. That would still only be 3 percent of total forecast revenues however, and possibly only enough to compensate for sliding iPod sales. Greater potential is seen if wireless carriers decide to subsidize the tablet.

Munster suggests that the tablet should be viewed as another model of Mac or iPod, rather than attempt to start a completely new product line. In terms of functionality it may resemble a larger iPhone, capable of running a number of widget-style apps simultaneously. Previous reports have proposed that it should have a 10-inch screen, and a built-in 3G cellular connection. A mockup can be seen below.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    well, duh

    Since we've been told for years that tablets are a niche market, why would one expect it to have any type of positive impact on Apple?

  1. SoCal Mac Guy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Way to state the obvious

    Do we really need an analyst article to tell us that the tablet market is smaller than the cell phone market?

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    These analysts sure

    make some interesting assumptions from little or no information about the product or it's sales possibilities. I know Munster talks about sliding iPod sales, but I know a number of people that are interested in buying Touches because they seem to be so versatile for reading, games, video, etc. Even their little kids want Touches. It's a high margin device and if the next version has video recording capabilities and is even better for games, it's unlikely the iPod is going to drop in revenue to the degree Munster is mentioning.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    wake me when...

    ...they've finally got around to putting multi-touch into the iMac. Until then, regardless of how much Apple takes the tablet software and user-experience to a new level, it's kind of a yawnsville device. Apple needs visibility, devices that people can show off or take outside for cool-status. Unless they engineer a scratch-free diamond-hard glass surface, that tablet ain't ever leaving a person's couch.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Handwriting recognition..

    ...and stylus drawing capability may be a 'sleeper' feature that effectively creates an new market for many especially if the larger 10" rumour proves true - everyone from teachers to designers to doctors may find new usability that neither a laptop nor iphone can accommodate...

    Of course I remember Mr Jobs swearing there would never be video on an iPod - innovations may lead to large POs the stock pickers can't yet imagine...

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Assumptions based on assumptions based on circumstantial evidence. If the tablet is indeed real, who knows what unique functions it might include that could make it irresistable? A central media remote? A portable graphics tablet? A portable video conference device? At least wait to see and test it in person before speculating on its success. Haven't we learned anything from the iPod and iPhone?

  1. stevesnj

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think this will be a niche market for medical and DJ's, I just don't see this selling well unless Apple has some amazing software to impress. I would call the tablet 'Newton'.

  1. manleycreative

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I doubt it will be $600 but maybe they will price it cheaper than a $1000 to compete with the Windows ads.

    I hope it is under $1000 and I'd like to be able to use it as a photo download/viewing device.

  1. Outdo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What If

    the features assumptions are wrong? What if this is a full-fledged macintosh. By using an improved handwriting (Ink) that is already in the OS and the ability to connect the existing 24-inch monitor and existing keyboard, then I am definitely interested. Add the reported cellular data connection capability and a 256GB sshd and it is an immediate sale for me.

  1. dwoodruff

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Agreed Outdo...

    It is unlikely Apple will just release a "me too" product. It is far more likely, to have features surpassing most current netbooks.

    And I'd like to point out, A Piper Jaffray analyst also predicted the iPhone would not help Apple in any way, previous to its launch.

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