Apple will sell about 20 million iPads in 2011, according to a Barclays Capital analyst, with HP and Dell competing fiercely for their own share of the growing tablet PC market. The analyst sees HP as being able to replicate Apple's iPad model via its Palm acquisition, but Dell risks being left behind unless it makes a big strategic move.
Apple will sell 20 million iPads in 2011, predicts a new
research note from Barclays Capital, as manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard
and Dell try to catch up in the burgeoning tablet PC space.
"We project that media tablets (which are not currently in
our PC unit model)-the most significant of which being the Apple iPad-will sell
at least 15 [million] units in 2010 growing to over 28 [million] in 2011," Ben
Reitzes, an analyst with Barclays Capital, wrote in a July 7 research note. "We
believe this category will have a negative impact on overall PC unit volumes,
pushing out and even replacing some notebook sales."
In Reitzes' assessment, lower-priced notebooks become the
biggest victims of the tablet category's surge: "We believe it is prudent to
use 30-40 [percent] cannibalization rate of the low-end notebook market, which
we believe was a similar rate seen when netbooks burst on the scene in 2008."
He also sees Apple as the initial
winner in the category. "Apple's vertical integration with software, online
services, apps and design give it unparalleled advantages in time to market and
ease of use for customers," he wrote. "We believe HP must demonstrate to
investors that its Palm deal gives them exposure-and that it can use its
distribution and link with printers to help gain a foothold. We believe the
tablet market presents challenges for Dell." Barclays Capital apparently estimates
total iPad sales for 2011 at 20 million units.
That number certainly seems reasonable, considering
that Apple managed to sell 3 million iPads within 80 days of the device's April
. The iPad is seen by some analysts as sparking renewed interest in
the consumer tablet PC category, which had traditionally been small and
moribund in comparison to that of traditional PCs.
HP confirmed in a July 1 statement that its newly-acquired
Palm WebOS would serve as the operating system for the company's tablet PCs and
other hardware products. It remains an open question, however, whether
the manufacturer will also develop a tablet PC that uses a stripped-down
version of Windows 7
, as had been anticipated in the months leading up to
the Palm acquisition. In any case, HP has made substantial noise about its
intentions to challenge the iPad, including a series of videos hosted on its
corporate blogs that portrayed a tablet PC prototype in action.
"HP knows it needs to be big in this category, given the
iPad seems to be cannibalizing its notebook market after just 3 months of
sales," Reitzes wrote in his research note. ""HP is opting to emulate Apple
(albeit a bit late) and clearly sees synergies with Palm that could help drive
sales of tablets and printers as well as smartphones." HP's scale and its
sizable retail channel, he added, potentially make it a strong category
But Dell could have a harder road ahead: "We are not
modeling any benefit from tablets, given Dell's lack of experience and success
to date in consumer electronics categories." In addition, Dell may be required
to make "a bigger move of its own" if HP's efforts with a Palm WebOS-powered
tablet prove successful in the marketplace.
analysts have also suggested growth for the tablet PC market
, with research
firm IDC estimating that worldwide media tablet shipments would total 46
million units in 2014. "IDC expects consumer demand for media tablets to be
strongly driven by the number and variety of compatible third-party apps for
content and devices," analyst Susan Kevorkian wrote in a May 20