It’s all setting up for the iPad to deliver a monster opening weekend, right? Not really.
Despite the massive hype, the iPad will sell between 200,000 and 300,000 units this weekend says Apple analyst Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray.
While that’s a solid number — probably better than all the Google Nexus One phones sold to date — it’s not blowing the doors off the place.
But that’s OK. The iPad’s opening weekend sales numbers are not indicative of the long run direction the iPad will head. They’re mostly only good for headlines.
The iPad is going to be a bigger seller during holidays, graduation, and back-to-school time, similar to an iPod or Mac. Also, the opening weekend sales won’t include the iPad 3G, which many people are waiting for. (Ships in “late April.”)
So, while opening sales numbers can provide some nice glitz, they’re not anything to get worked up about.
(That said, if Apple announces it sold 1 million iPads on Monday, we’ll be floored, and we’ll take back everything we just wrote.)
Here’s a table from Gene comparing his estimates for the iPad, and the launches of the different iPhones.
For the June quarter, Gene thinks Apple sells 900,000 units. For the calendar year, he sees 2.7 million units, but he cautions those estimates are conservative.
He says a strong launch is positive for the stock, but he maintains that 2011 will be the big year for the iPad
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