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Apple's iPad "running far ahead" in enterprise adoption

Apple has taken a significant lead in the corporate world with the success of its iPad tablet, said one analyst, while predicting the company will sell 33.7 million iPads this year.

Barclays analyst analyst Ben Reitzes said Friday that when it comes to the corporate world, the iPad is "running far ahead of its tablet competition and its their game to lose," Barrons reports. Reitzes' report stems from a conference call with a research Forrester Research analyst.

According to Reitzes, Apple hasn't established an enterprise salesforce, but the iPad maker is "listening to enterprise customers." The report noted that Forrester's research indicates that corporate users are "buying devices and bringing them into work" in increasing numbers.

Apple is the "winner in the consumerization of IT," said Reitzes. Forrester sees room for tablets to co-exist with smartphones and laptops, but does see some cannibalization from devices like the iPad in that it can "delay laptop replacements."

Reitzes sees Apple ending the calendar year with sales of 33.7 million iPads, a more than 70 percent share of the 47 million tablets he predicts will sell in 2011. He has an Overweight rating on Apple stock, with a $450 price target.

The analysts' estimates are roughly in line with those of his colleagues. For example, Caris & Co. analyst Robert Cihra sees Apple selling 36 million iPads this year.

The growth of the iPad could continue to accelerate as corporate adoption of the device picks up. A recent report from enterprise mobile services vendor Good Technology revealed a 64 percent increase in the iPad's share of all device activations among the more than 2,000 companies its tracks.

Apple announced during its earnings call for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 that over 80 percent of the Fortune 100 are already deploying or piloting the iPad. Sales of the iPad last quarter reached 7.3 million, bringing in $4.6 billion in revenue for the Cupertino, Calif., company.

In October of last year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the iPad was "being grabbed out of our hands," despite the fact that the company had yet to push the iPad "real hard in business."

"We've got a tiger by the tail here, and this is a new model of computing which we've already got tens of millions of people trained on with the iPhone, and that lends itself to lots of different aspects of life, both personal and business," he said.

The iPad is expected to see another sales boost this spring when Apple will presumably release the second-generation of its successful tablet device. The iPad 2 is expected to be faster, lighter and sport a FaceTime-ready camera. Rumors surfaced this week that the iPad maker could also be planning a second update for the fall of this year, possibly adding a retina display or pro features.