iPad Sales May Pass 7M; Apps More Costly

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iSuppli is now weighing in on predictions for sales of the iPad, which begins delivery Saturday, and could exceed 7 million unit sales this year, said the research firm.
Worldwide iPad sales will hit 7.1 million in 2010, doubling to 14.4 million in 2011 and nearly tripling to 20.1 million in 2012, based on conservative estimates, said iSuppli. Early adopters will drive sales this year while new apps will help promote future sales.
In addition the iPad’s “unique touch screen interface” will also attract users whether they are aged 2 or 92, said Rhoda Alexander, iSuppli director of monitor research.
The iPad has managed to combine two devices “that have struggled to gain traction for years: Internet appliances and tablet PCs,” in an “intriguing mix,” she added, noting it’s possible, sales could climb much higher than 7 million, even as many other competitive tablets are expected this year.
One note: lack of support for Flash–unless Apple addresses the issue–could cut into the iPad’s sales, as Flash is used on a significant number of websites to display video and games.
Some other interesting points on the iPad:
The device will not ship with a built-in eReader so it’s up to the user to pick an eReader app, which could just as easily be Amazon’s Kindle for iPad. The New York Times called Apple’s iBookstore’s initial selection of eBooks, at 60,000 titles, “puny” (the Kindle eBookstore has more than 450,000 titles). It also pointed out you can’t read in direct sunlight on the iPad and the 1.5 pound device can get heavy after a while, compared to a Kindle at 10 ounces. Still, the interface is cool, and the pages actually curl when you touch the screen to turn the page, using the Apple iBooks app.
A small perk, however, for those users waiting until later this month for a 3G iPad, is the wireless service doesn’t require a contract. You can order a month of limited use at $15 and use it until it runs out without being required to reorder. As Apple says, “if you have a business trip or vacation approaching, just sign up for the month you’ll be traveling and cancel when you get back.”
Mad app scramble: when the iPad store opens within Apple’s App Store on Saturday it should have 1,000 apps, says the NYT, claiming Hulu may be one of them. As of Friday, the news wires were full of announcements of new iPad apps with some noted below. Also, the apps will cost two or three times more than those for the iPhone or iPod Touch, says CNET.
Some of the new iPad apps include:
From CBS, apps including streaming content from hit shows such as the Young and the Restless, How I Met your Mother, Two and a half Men, CSI, and the Late Show with David Letterman; and from Gameloft, 8 apps including N.O.V.A. Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. Also due are apps from USA Today, Popular Science, Zillow.com, MythBusters, and The Weather Channel.
Sources: iSuppli, Apple, New York Times, CNET

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