Derided by some at its launch as a device with no market, Apple's iPad has now proven to be one of the most successful consumer electronic device launches ever, according to Bernstein Research retail analyst Colin McGranahan. He expects the device to have a sell through rate to be about 4.5 million units per quarter.
This is far faster than the iPhone, which sold one million units in its initial launch quarter, and far ahead of the 350,000 DVD players sold in its first year, CNBC reported Tuesday. Repeating the statements of some analysts that the iPad would not be a runaway hit, he mused "by any account, the iPad is a runaway success of unprecedented proportion."
Bernstein is extremely bullish on the device, saying in 2011 it should become the fourth biggest consumer electronics category with sales of $9 billion in the US next year. This would put it ahead of the game console and cellular phones, a stunning number considering the initial uncertainty.
McGranahan went further to say that the iPad is not only hurting PC sales -- notebooks notably have taken a hit according to most analysts -- but the TV and digital camera sectors may also be affected. Essentially, it's all an issue of disposable income.
"It is the rare American household that would spend $600-plus dollars on an iPad and buy a TV or a PC or a digital camera in the same month, or the same quarter, or maybe even the same year," he wrote in a research note to clients.
Seeing that Apple has been so successful, it should not be a surprise that Microsoft is eager to compete. CEO Steve Ballmer told attendees of a talk at the London School of Electronics that its partners would have slate PCs available by the holidays.