The iPad's initial sales rate has surpassed that of the iPhone and the DVD player, making it a "runaway success of unprecedented proportion," a Bernstein Research analyst said in a note to investors earlier this week.
With Apple selling 3 million iPads over the first 80 days and an estimated 4.5 million over the three months ending in September, Bernstein Research retail analyst Colin McGranahan said that the tablet is destroying all previous records of consumer electronics adoption.
Specifically, sales of the iPad have shot past the 1 million iPhone handsets sold during the smartphone's first quarter and the under 6 million sold during the full year of the phone's 2007 debut. The numbers quoted for the iPad and iPhone are all on a global basis, though McGranahan told CNET the assumption from his end is that around 45 percent of iPad sales today are in the U.S.
Sales of Apple's popular tablet have also greatly outpaced those of the DVD player, which had been the largest-selling non-phone electronic product with 350,000 units sold just in the United States in the first year, according to data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Originally unveiled in Japan, DVD players hit the U.S. market in early 1997. The first DVD players were pricey, selling for close to $1,000, though the cost quickly dropped over the following years. It wasn't until 2002 that DVD players were selling at around 4 million per quarter in the U.S., a number that's about the same today, according to the CEA.
Based on McGranahan's estimate of 4.5 million iPads sold over the past three months, which Fortune says is actually a below-average forecast among the analysts who follow Apple, consensus is that Apple has so far sold around 8.25 million tablets. Apple is due to release its earnings report for its fiscal fourth quarter October 18.
The iPad is due to capture around $12 billion in global sales for the year, according to McGranahan's note, which is also bullishly predicting sales of almost $20 billion next year, with around $9 billion in the U.S. alone. Those numbers contrast with the entire U.S. consumer PC market, which takes in sales of around $25 billion annually, and the U.S. notebook/Netbook market, which sees sales of around $19 billion a year.… Read more