updated 12:40 pm EST, Fri March 11, 2011
Most buyers likely new
About 15 to 20 percent of iPad 1 owners will upgrade to the iPad 2 during the next year, claims RBC Capital Markets' Mike Abramsky. Even though many iPad 2 buyers may be new to the platform, the analyst suggests they will contribute to 28 million in total sales by the end of 2011. He adds that many people have likely been waiting for a second-gen model in order to get a sense of upgrades and the popularity of tablets in general.
Abramsky joins other analysts in predicting sales of over 500,000 units during the iPad 2's launch weekend. The company will likely be helped by much wider distribution, including not just Apple, AT&T and Best Buy but Verizon, Target and Walmart. If inventory is better than anticipated, Abramsky comments, launch sales could beat estimates.
The overall tablet market is forecast to grow to about 50 million units during 2011, of which 28 million iPad 2s would represent 56 percent. The figure would technically represent a decline in Apple's marketshare, since it was 83 percent in 2010, but only because the device had virtually no competition. The Samsung Galaxy Tab was the first device considered to be a genuine contender against the iPad.