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iPad, Apple's 'Mac of the masses,' predicted to sell 21M in 2011


One prominent Wall Street analyst has increased is forecast for iPad sales in 2011 to 21 million, citing expansion of the device's availability, as well as rapid adoption in the enterprise sector.

Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray said Thursday he believes the the iPad is poised to outsell the Mac in 2011. He had previously called for 14.5 million iPads to be sold in 2011, but now sees Apple selling 21 million.

"We believe the iPad represents a meaningful product category for Apple as a secondary computing device for those who already have a primary computer, a primary device for those who could not previously afford a Mac, and the first Apple product that will be a success in the enterprise," he wrote. "We see the iPad as the Mac for the masses."

His prediction is based on three factors: increased supply and expanded distribution channels, international rollout and adoption in price-sensitive markets, and uptake in the enterprise sector.

Munster said that increased presence of the iPad in retail stores will help to drive sales. Best Buy recently announced that it will expand iPad sales to all its U.S. stores this week, while Target is rumored to sell the device beginning next month.

Earlier this month, the iPad launched in China and 5 Latin American countries. In these "price-sensitive markets," the iPad is more likely to be used as a primary computing device by people who could not previously afford a Mac, Munster said.

Finally, he said the iPad has the potential to take the largest percentage of its sales from enterprise customers. He noted that the company revealed in June that more than 50 percent of the Fortune 100 are deploying or testing the iPad.

Munster believes Apple will control 94 percent o the worldwide tablet market in calendar year 2010, with 10.7 million of the total 11.3 million tablet sales for the year. In the future, he sees Android as the iPad's primary competition, as the next 3.0 release, codenamed "Gingerbread," is said to support tablet devices.

Piper Jaffray has increased its price target for AAPL stock to $390, with revenue estimates increased from $78.96 billion to $83.13 billion. The calendar year 2011 earnings per share estimate has also been increased from $16.87 to $17.75.