People are underestimating what a hit Apple’s iPad will be, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.
In a note to clients today, Huberty predicted Apple will sell 6 million iPads this year — way more than the 3 million to 4 million consensus estimate.
Huberty believes “recent negative sentiment” since the iPad unveiling have set Apple’s stock up for a bounce after the device launches in March and new iPhones appear in June.
She reiterated her target of $250, up from the current $205 (the stock’s up about 3 percent today).
The report predicted new iPhones coming in June will have new capabilities, perhaps including new gesture controls, and lower cost of ownership — suggesting a lower device price and perhaps lower service plan options.
From her comment on the iPad:
We expect Apple to ship its first iPad and announce additional content deals in late March to better than expected demand. We see the iPad targeting the sub-$800 consumer notebook market, which equates to 30M annual units just in the US (120M globally). We expect iPad points of distribution to expand through CY10, both in the US and International markets, which could add 500K-1M units from channel fill alone.
From her comment on the iPhone:
“We expect Apple to launch new iPhones in June that offer both a lower total cost of ownership and new functionality, potentially including gesture-based
technology. As we’ve highlighted in the past, the cost of device + service plan is currently the biggest barrier to incremental demand in both mature markets like the US
and emerging markets like China.”