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(Updated Aug 24, 2011) Sometimes I feel like I’m back  in my high school-era data entry jobs. I’ve collected and charted all of  the publicly-available forecasts on the tablet market for 2011 and  beyond. (Note: This was updated on Aug 24, 2011 with iSuppli forecast, and on July 11, 2011 from the original February post with with nearly 20 new/revised forecasts from IDC, Gartner, Deutsche Bank, VDC, Canaccord, BMO Capital, Goldman Sachs, Jeffries & Co., iSuppli, etc. New text in bold.)

 

This post itself is an update to an earlier post I made last November that ranked analyst forecasts for 2010 in order of bullishness.

As I did with my iPad Enterprise & School Deployment List, I may eventually open up the entire Google Spreadsheet for public viewing. In the meantime, here are some charts for your visualization pleasure.

Wall Street’s 2011 Tablet Market Forecasts


  

Tech Research Firm Forecasts for 2011 Tablet Market

 

A few things jump out:

1) ABI Research’s Jeff Orr, who I respect a lot, remains on the low-end. But the bear, as of July 2011, is research firm, eMarketer.

2) The raging bull award goes to FBR Capital’s Craig Berger, who had the cojones to make his 70 million forecast almost 8 months ago, and Peter Misek of Jeffries & Co., who made his call this month. Second place goes to Rhoda Alexander of iSuppli.

3) I had a theory that well-known analysts or those from the big banks or market research firms would be incentivized to put out cautious numbers for fear of being burnt. With Apple blowing out its Christmas iPad sales forecasts, perhaps they now fear being burnt for being too cautious. See Gartner, iSuppli, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, who are all on the high side.

4) Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray is one of the better-known Apple and iPad bulls. Yet, his latest 2011 forecast for the overall tablet market puts him on the low-end of the market.

5) There’s now a noticeable difference between the average of forecasts between the banking and tech analysts. Whereas both were about 50 million for 2011 back in February, the tech analysts are collectively 5% more bullish than the bank analysts (54.5 mln versus 52 mln).

6) Similarly, there’s no noticeable pattern of forecasts increasing over time, as there was with the 2010 forecasts (when analysts were playing catch-up to the iPad’s strong demand).

And here’s the iPad market forecasts for 2011:

 

Some notes:

1) The iPad forecasts fit my theory that the raging bulls will be the relatively lesser-known analysts/firms with less to lose: Wedge Partners, Ticonderoga Securities, DRAMexchange, FBR Capital, Caris & Co.

2) Belying his reputation as Apple’s cheerleader on Wall Street, Gene Munster actually has the lowest iPad forecast for 2011. Maybe we should start calling him a Google Bull?

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  1. Ethan Jewett
    As Kevin said, this is a really useful blog post.

    If I were looking to make decisions about the industry, I would just take a moment to note the implicit forecast of non-iPad tablets for 2011 that resides in these numbers. If we subtract these analysts’ iPad forecasts from their total tablet forecasts, we are getting numbers in the range of 10-20 million non-iPad tablets for 2011. Currently I believe there is 1 such tablet (the Samsung Galaxy Tab) on the market and Samsung is not sharing sales numbers, which may indicate sales are not strong.

    The other major iPad competitors, including the RIM Playbook, HP TouchPad, and Motorola Xoom, have not been released. RIM has, amusingly, announced three generations of Playbook and has so far released 0 generations on to the market – http://www.loopinsight.com/2011/02/16/rim-needs-to-shut-up-and-ship/ 🙂

    My point is this: The iPad forecasts may be more or less reliable, as they are based on known historical demand for an existing product. (Though see http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/01/19/apples-blow-out-quarter-the-bloggers-called-it-the-street-blew-it-2/ for a convincing take on why we shouldn’t believe Apple numbers from these professional analysts.) However, I would take the overall forecasts with a much larger grain of salt, as they are forecasts of sales for products we do not even know will be available in 2011.

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    1. Eric Lai Post author
      I agree that the degree of variance for the iPad forecasts is much smaller; we have a shipping product, and even a 2-month delay as Yuanta Securities is now predicting is not going to kill demand among regular consumers. Android tablets don’t seem to be coming out with an aggressive-enough price point. And too many of the high-profile ones are alas still missing.
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