If consumers love Apple's new iPad as much as Wall Street does, it is destined to be a hit.
Apple's CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the tablet computer yesterday amid frenzied anticipation, confirming many predictions and reports.
Although arriving with few content partnerships, and resembling an oversized iPod, industry analysts are enchanted with the device's prospects.
In our view, Steve Jobs and the Apple crew surpassed expectations with the long-anticipated unveiling of the tablet device, Brian Marshall of AmTech told clients.
While we were impressed with the specs during the briefing given by Mr. Jobs, it was not until we actually used the iPad for 15 minutes were we convinced this will be another grand slam product.
Ramping up to the event, many insiders were predicting price points north of $600, making the $499 base price of the iPad particularly surprising.
That will give it appeal to the market that would otherwise buy a netbook.
The pricing is much more attractive than expected & clearly shows Apple desires mass market appeal., said Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital.
Thusly, analysts are expecting between 1.2 million to 3 million units being shipped this year, but most agree that 2011 will be a breakout year for the device.
Next year Apple is expected to ship 4 million to upwards of 9 million units.
But there is a fear that the device may encroach on sales of Apple's other devices.
The iPad -- a smart nimble device geared towards heavy content users -- appeals to the same demographic as the iPod and iPhone. Its low entry price puts it square in the same bracket the high-end iPhone.
This debate could go on for years, but we view iPad as mostly a complimentary device, Shaw Wu of Kaufman Brothers explains.
We would add that there was a debate about iPhone vs. iPod touch and that is now moot with both becoming top sellers with combined shipments of 75 million units to date.
Shares of Apple dropped 2.89 percent, or $6.01 to 201.88 in morning trading.