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iPad Pro predicted to drive $2.4B in near-term revenue for Apple

Apple's newly launched high-end iPad Pro is expected to make a big splash for the company, with one analyst forecasting the 12.9-inch tablet to be a $2.4 billion revenue opportunity in its first three months alone.

Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets believes Apple can sell 3 million iPad Pro units in the first three months. His prediction was revealed in a note to investors on Tuesday, a copy of which was provided to AppleInsider.

Even if the average selling price of the iPad Pro were to come in at $800, that would imply $2.4 billion in revenue with 3 million units sold. The iPad Pro's starting price is $799 for a 32-gigabyte model, while 128 gigabytes costs $949, and a cellular-capable high-end model is $1,079.

To Daryanani, that would mean $600 million in operating profit for Apple in the first three months of the product's lifespan, adding between 8 and 10 cents in incremental earnings per share to start calendar 2016.

Calling his forecast conservative, Daryanani said his predictions assume gross margins in the 33 percent range, which would be low for Apple. Last quarter, Apple's company-wide gross margins were at 39.9 percent.

Daryanani sees the iPad Pro serving as a big boost for Apple's iPad business — his estimates call for $2.4 billion in revenue to represent roughly half of total iPad revenue for Apple's March quarter, for example.

RBC has maintained a price target of $150 for shares of AAPL, along with an "outperform" rating.