Apple's iPad Reigns Over Rivals

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -Apple's (AAPL) iPad, which competes with Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle and Barnes and Noble's (BKS) Nook in the e-reader market, is continuing to see substantial growth in sales, and we expect this trend to continue.

The tablet PC market has grown exponentially with leading PC makers like Dell ( DELL) and H-P ( HPQ) introducing their own versions of tablets like the Streak and Slate, respectively, in order to compete better with the iPad.

Though we expect Apple to face competition from a flurry of tablet devices, many of which are being showcased the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) taking place this week, we believe that Apple will continue to dominate the tablet device market for the foreseeable future.

While we expect iPad unit sales will touch close to 30 million units by 2013, Trefis members predict sales will reach almost 40 million. Though this is well above our current estimates, it has a limited impact on the stock right now, given the iPad accounts for around 7% of our estimate price estimate.

We currently have a Trefis price estimate of $418 for Apple's stock, about 27% above the current market price of $330.

Apple announced that within 28 days since the launch of the iPad on April 3, 2010, the company made sales of 1 million, and sales of more than 12 million apps from the App Store and over 1.5 million ebooks from the new iBookstore. This milestone is less than half the time it took to achieve with the iPhone.

According to eMarketer estimates, iPad sales will cross 19 million in 2011 and 30 million in 2012. It also predicts that the tablet market will diversify further and that iPad's share of the tablet market will reduce from 88% currently to 69% in 2012, although it will still retain its high market share.

We expect the average iPad pricing to decline from $640 currently to around $540 by 2013. Lower prices should increase demand for iPad and hence boost sales. The company already has basic features like Web browsing, reading, email, sharing photos. If Apple is able to add more services like a camera, OLED display and a removable battery, this will give more traction to sales.

The Trefis community expects the iPad sales to increase from around 28 million in 2011 to 56 million by the end of the Trefis forecast period, compared to the baseline Trefis estimate of an increase from 20 million to near 46 million during the same period. The member estimates imply an upside a small upside to the Trefis price estimate for Apple's stock.

Our complete analysis for Apple's stock is here .

Trefis members constitute more than tens of thousands of users of the Trefis platform, inclusive of investors, financial analysts, and business professionals who use the Trefis platform to create their own models and price estimates.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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