Apple Tablet May Add $1.2 Billion in Annual Sales

Updated:2009/8/10 11:12

Apple Inc. may add $1.2 billion to sales next year if it releases a tablet computer that resembles a larger version of the iPod Touch, Piper Jaffray & Co. said.

The company may be able to sell 2 million tablet computers with a price tag of $600, adding about 3 percent to revenue, said Gene Munster, a Piper Jaffray analyst in Minneapolis. He expects Cupertino, California-based Apple to release the device early next year.

A tablet would help Apple compete with netbook computers by offering a machine that could surf the Web and play movies, Munster said. Sales of netbooks -- laptops that typically cost less than $500 -- will almost double this year, compared with a 12 percent drop for the total personal-computer market, according to Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner Inc.

“We believe Apple’s tablet would compete well in the netbook category even though it would not be a netbook,” Munster said in a report. The device may cost as much as 50 percent less than the cheapest MacBook, which sells for $999, he said.

Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Apple, declined to comment.

Apple rose $1.60, or 1 percent, to $165.51 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The stock has almost doubled this year.

App Store

The tablet could use a version of the iPhone operating system, which would let users access Apple’s mobile applications, Munster said. Customers have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications through the App Store, which offers more than 65,000 programs.

The iPhone operating system would have to be modified for the larger screen of a tablet computer to make it more appealing, Munster said. The software would also have to run multiple applications at the same time, which isn’t possible on the iPhone today, he said.

The new device could be used as an electronic-book reader, helping Apple sell digital books through its iTunes store, Munster said. That would step up competition with Seattle-based Inc.



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