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iPad suppliers forecast shipments of 8 - 10 million for calendar year 2010


Analyst Katy Huberty at Morgan Stanley has published a research note forecasting shipments of 8 - 10 million iPads during calendar year 2010. That's significantly more than previous estimates, which showed shipments of about 5 million devices. The note, as reported in a WSJ All Things Digital post, still maintains a sales estimate of greater than 6 million iPads for the year, since shipments are not necessarily equal to sales (some production remains in distribution channels at year-end).

Huberty notes that investors who are bearish on the iPad say that it lacks a "killer app." She counters with speculation that the near-term target is for the sub-$800 notebook computer market, which currently appears to be in the range of 30 million units in the United States and 120 million units globally. In the long run, media (video, magazines, books) and apps that have been optimized for the iPad will significantly increase the market size.

For the short term (through May, 2010), suppliers are expecting to ship 2.5 million iPads. This is up sharply from Huberty's initial estimate of 750,000 units through the end of June. Earlier this month, analysts were reporting that delays in early iPad production would limit the quantities available at launch.

Huberty has not been particularly bullish on Apple in the past several years, but has recently been citing Apple's leadership in the mobile device space and talking about "bull case scenarios" for Apple's future.

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