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Monday, March 14, 2011, 10:10 am PT (01:10 pm ET)

'Amazing' demand for iPad 2 seen as 'insurmountable lead' for Apple

Apple on Monday commented that demand for the iPad 2 at launch was "amazing," though the company declined to reveal actual sales figures. But with the device sold out virtually everywhere, one Wall Street analyst declared that Apple now has an "insurmountable lead" in the tablet market.

Apple: 'Amazing' demand for iPad 2

"Demand for the next generation iPad 2 has been amazing," Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told The Loop. "We are working hard to get iPad 2 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible."

Though Apple has not revealed initial sales for the iPad 2, most locations were completely sold out by Saturday. Sales predictions have ranged from about 500,000 to as high as one million, a number that will be determined by how many units Apple was able to supply for last Friday's launch.

Deutsche Bank: Apple's lead 'insurmountable'

Analyst Chris Whitmore with Deutsche Bank said in a note to investors on Monday that he sees the blockbuster start for the iPad 2 as evidence that Apple has earned an "insurmountable lead" in the tablet market, leaving competitors in the dust.

"We believe the combination of its robust ecosystem, massive App catalog, broad carrier support, industry-leading hardware performance and its price-performance advantage creates an unmatched value for consumers in this segment," he wrote.

Whitmore conducted a survey of 100 stores, including 50 Apple retail locations, 20 Best Buy and Walmart stores, and a handful of AT&T and Verizon stores. He found a complete 100 percent stock-out of the iPad 2 at all locations polled.

The analyst said the strong start for the iPad 2 suggests his estimate of 30 million iPad sales in 2011 is "very conservative." Apple sold about 15 million of the first-generation iPad in all of 2010.

iPad 2 apps


J.P. Morgan: iPad 'wannabes' must 'rethink' their tablet plans

Analyst Mark Moskowitz with J.P. Morgan also sent out a note to investors Monday in reaction to the iPad 2 launch. He believes the early success of the iPad 2 is a sign of a "global tablet bubble."

"There are many competitive tablet entrants expected, but so far, we think that both Samsung and Motorola have experienced disappointing adoption curves," he said. "We expect more of the same from other entrants.

"Meanwhile, Apple's iPad 2 technical and form factor improvements, coupled with opening weekend stock-outs, point to a widening gap in market share ownership potential."

Moskowitz expects Apple to control at least 61 percent of unit sales in the tablet market in 2011. He noted that number could go higher, given the momentum the iPad 2 saw in its debut over the weekend.

Ticonderoga Securities: 'Consumers have spoken' in favor of iPad 2

Finally, Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities issued a response to the iPad 2 launch, declaring that tablet competitors to the iPad 2 have even more of an uphill battle after Apple's tablet launched last week.

"For tablet competitors," he wrote, "we believe consumers have spoken, and life just got a lot tougher if you plan to compete with the iPad 2."

White and his team conducted field checks with stores over the weekend, and also found that every store, including Apple retail locations, were completely out of iPad 2 stock. He said the iPad 2 launch was much stronger than most likely expected, and he reiterated his prediction that first-weekend sales could reach 1 million.

"Clearly, we believe the demand was there to exceed our target," he said. "However, the question now becomes was there adequate supply."