[FoRK] Betting on the iPad

Dr. Ernie Prabhakar drernie at radicalcentrism.org
Tue Feb 2 13:34:02 PST 2010

On Feb 1, 2010, at 8:02 PM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:
>> imply 13 million iPads by the end of June 2011
> It still lacks context, Ernie. In your original note you said, "For example, I'm willing to bet a $50 gift card to Kiva.org that the iPad will do to existing tablet and netbook computers what the iPhone and iPod did to their respective categories."
> You need at least one data point for each product to illustrate what they "did to their respective categories". That would be their marketshare after some meaningful period of time, say, one or two years after they were introduced. Without that, the actual number of units sold really isn't very meaningful. E.g. a few million might sound impressive but if it's only 0.8% marketshare it's hardly noticable. Contrariwise, a few hundred thousand might well be impressive if it's 25% after a year.

Geez, you're really trying to turn this into a fact-based analysis rather than an excuse to vent hot air, aren't you? :-)

A quick Google shows Netbooks in 2009 shipped 40M units for $11B in revenue (implying ASP of $275).


So, 13 million iPads in 15 months would be at least $6.5B, and probably more like $8B+.  That would compare very favorably to the 10% share the iPhone was said to have two years after release:


Course, that report said iPhone had 5% market (unit) share only a year in, which would be 4-5M units in 12 months for the iPad. That seems a no-brainer; I'd give 2-to-1 odds on that.  We could also bet on the 20% number in 2 years, which at that point would probably be close the 13M I predicted within 15 months.

> Also, your bet assumes it will be tablet and netbook markets that will be most impacted. Much of the chatter I've read is assuming it's ebooks that will be most affected by the iPad's existence.
> Perhaps a more interesting bet is which market(s) it will impact most?

Well, the Kindle is rumoured to have sold 3 million units:


The iPad will almost certainly crush that number, though obviously not all of that would be for book reading.  Still, if Kindle hardware sales drop dramatically, I suspect we could easily ascribe that to the iPad effect.  Alas, Amazon rarely releases sales numbers for Kindles, and I suspect they will become even more reluctant to do so...

-- Ernie P.

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