Apple's iPad, 'Mac for Masses'

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is predicting that the iPad will ship 21 million units in calendar 2011, up from the 14.5 million he initially expected.

Calling the iPad the “Mac for the masses,” Munster reckons that broader distribution, an international rollout and enterprise demand will drive Apple’s tablet.

“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 (NASDAQ:AAPL) product that will be a success in the enterprise; we see the iPad as the Mac for the masses,” said Munster.

As noted previously, we can verify the iPad role in the enterprise pretty easily. There are a bevy of projects going on. Sybase’s Eric Lai has compiled Google spreadsheets listing education and enterprise iPad deployments.

Among other key points behind Munster’s new estimates for the iPad:

  • Apple has caught up with demand. Meanwhile, Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) will carry the iPad in all stores by the end of the month. Munster also argues the iPad will land at Target too.
  • A China launch should juice demand. “The iPad is now available in markets where it is more likely that the iPad is used as a primary computing device for those who could not previously afford a Mac,” said Munster.
  • The enterprise demand is for real. Munster said:

Of any product Apple sells we believe the iPad has the potential to garner the largest percentage of its sales from enterprise customers. Apple has recently highlighted several business use cases on its site (sales, medical, hospitality, etc.) and on the June-10 conference call the company indicated that over 50% of the Fortune 500 were deploying or piloting the iPad.

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