Piper Jaffray’s senior analyst weighs in on the chances of a January announcement
In a note to clients Wednesday, Gene Munster put his spin on recent rumors regarding the Apple (AAPL) tablet computer that nobody has seen but everybody is talking about.
- Acknowledging media reports — including one in the current Financial Times — of an Apple announcement in January, Munster puts the odds of a special event occurring at 75% and the odds of a tablet being announced at that time at 50%.
- If the tablet were announced in January, he would expect it to ship some time in Apple’s second fiscal quarter. “Based on a conversation this week with a Taiwanese component supplier,” he writes, “we expect Apple to ship a tablet device by the end March.”
- Munster had previously estimated a monthly run rate of 162,000 units once the tablet ships (about 2 million annually). “Assuming the tablet comes out in [March],” he writes, “we believe Apple would sell around 1.4 [million] units at a $600 ASP in [calendar year 2010], an increase of about 2% to revenue.”
- Other reasons Apple might hold a January event: to launch a new iPod touch with a video camera, or a new Apple TV that could support a subscription TV service (see Can Steve Jobs unplug cable TV?)
What does Munster expect the tablet to be like? Read on:
Meanwhile, the Boy Genius passes along a rumor that there is “definitely” a 7-inch model being introduced in January. “Whether this is in addition to a 10″ model, [his sources] don’t know.”
For various artists’ renditions of the mythical tablet, see Silicon Alley Insider’s gallery here.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]