In a note to investors, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster asserted that Apple could sell 1.4 million tablets in 2010... if they priced it at $600 US. The tablet is not even announced yet, let alone its selling price, but Munster has been consistent in calling for a price range of $500 to $700 for the device that AppleInsider calls a "Kindle Killer."
Looking at his sources in the Taiwan supply chain, Munster estimated that Apple could sell 162,000 of the devices each month, pushing out about 2 million every year.
For purposes of sensitivity, assuming the tablet comes out in March 2010, we believe Apple would sell around 1.4 [million] units at a $600 [average selling price] in 2010. The tablet is not yet included in Street models, so we expect the multiple to expand as tablet hype builds ahead of the announcement, and numbers to go up once the device is announced.
While there are several options ranging from a touch screen Mac OS X to an iPhone-like OS, we expect the tablet to be driven by a new version of Apple's iPhone OS that runs a new category of larger apps alongside all the current apps from the App Store. We believe Apple's tablet would compete well in the netbook category even though it would not be a netbook.
Additionally, Munster supports the speculation that the device will be a media platform for both e-books, TV shows and movies. It was reported that CBS and Disney are in talks with Apple on an iTunes TV subscription service that would give flat-fee access to top TV shows streamed to computers or portables like the tablet.
Though prices of $1,000 US and higher have been floated in the rumor churn surrounding the mythical device, Munster is almost certainly correct in his assessment that keeping the tablet affordable will be key to its success. Many have noted that Apple hurt themselves by pricing the original iPhone too high. Let's hope that Apple is paying attention to the pundits.
image via Gizmodo