Its no secret that Apple’s iPad tablet is far and away the best selling product of its kind on the market. COO Tim Cook said at the company’s recent earnings call, “we’ve sold every iPad we made.” Demand for tablets, the iPad and particular, has become so hot that analysts are being forced to revise their sales forecasts upwards on an almost bi-weekly basis. Recently Barclay’s Ben Reitzes 2011 tablet forecast, which originally called for shipments of 47 million tablets, was changed to predict a volume of 62.7 million. Reitzes expects 38.9 million of those products to be iPads, way up from the 31.5 million he’d originally predicted. The more intriguing question at this point, from an analyst and investor’s perpsective, is what will become of the remaining 23.7 million non-iPads that will ship this year.
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According to AllthingsD, Apple’s tablet rivals such as Research in Motion Playbook, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy, Google Android tablets, and other devices from Hewlett-Packard , Dell Acer, Amazon , and Cisco , are overloading shipments with their own products due to the surging demand for iPads. However, the success of their products’ sales remains far from a sure thing. “While indications are that sell-through volumes have been soft for competitive products to the iPad, our ‘other’ tablet estimates are still driven higher by the sheer number of other vendors shipping devices into the channel,” said the Barclay’s analyst.
AllthingsD’s John Paczkowski thinks this is a serious mishap from non-Apple producers, “those companies are shipping a ton of tablets to their retail partners, despite a lack of demand. And no good can come of that. Push too much product into the channel when there’s little demand for it and you end up with an oversupply and the sort of nasty inventory problems that dragged Palm into the mud. And those problems will only grow worse with the debut of Apple’s next iPad (expected to release later this year).”
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