Apple Tablet PC Could Take In $1.2 Billion

Sales of 2 million tablets priced between $500 and $700 could add 3% to Apple revenue in 2010, analyst says.
Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster estimates that Apple could sell $1.2 billion worth of tablet PCs the first year the device is available.

Munster issued a report Friday saying that an unidentified Asian component supplier has received orders from Apple. This gives credence to long-standing, unconfirmed reports that an Apple tablet PC could be released by early 2010.

Munster believes Apple could sell 2 million tablets at a price range between $500 and $700. Based on the midpoint price, sales could reach $1.2 billion, adding 3% to Apple revenue in 2010.

The analyst's report follows a July Financial Times report that Apple could launch a tablet PC with a 10-inch diagonal screen as early as September. Quoting people who had been briefed on the project, the Times reported that the device would have the same capabilities as the iPod Touch, but with a larger screen that would make the gadget better for watching video or reading electronic books.

Apple has repeatedly denied that it would release a netbook, but a tablet would be a very different premium option, more in line with the company's approach to the PC market. Apple offers products at the high-end of the market, enticing buyers with innovative design, ease of use, and bundled software.

An Apple tablet would amount to a premium option to today's netbooks, inexpensive mini-laptops that are the fastest growing category in the PC market. Priced at less than $500, the systems have proven very popular during the current economic recession.

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