CNBC’s Jon Fortt is pessimistic about one analyst’s forecast that Apple will sell 45 million iPads in 2011.
To present both sides, he plays along postulating what moves Apple might need to make in order to make that goal:
How? One, come out with a smaller version, perhaps the 7-inch iPad some are expecting in January. Two, sell a subsidized version with a carrier data plan through AT&T, Verizon, or others.
Another key move would be to dramatically expand distribution by selling it through the Wal-Marts of the world.
Now, I’m pessimistic too. But then I’m not a fancy market analyst. I’m just an interested observer. And I want to try my hand at this as well.
First, it’s amazing to me how these “experts” continue to ignore blatant clues from Apple’s past actions. In particular, look at the iPhone.
With all the hubbub around iPhone 4, it can be easy to forget that Apple is still selling the iPhone 3GS through their store. It’s selling for only $99 (8GB), which you might recall is $100 less than it sold for prior to the release of the iPhone 4.
Apple’s taken this approach for years now with the iPhone and the iPod, selling the last generation model at a discounted price right alongside the current model offering significant new features at the original price point. In my mind, Apple is likely to continue this approach with the iPad since the current model is successful - see iPad Adoption Rate Fastest Ever, Passing DVD Player - and the new one will offer substantial new features - FaceTime anyone?
Critiquing prognostication with yet more prognostication isn’t the smartest play. So I’ll be first on record to say my imaginings are likely wrong. But then, I haven’t seen anyone else yet predict the current iPad selling for a discount price alongside an all-new iPad when it’s released next year, so if I’m right, well, you read it here first.