How many iPads will Apple sell?


Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a senior editor at Fortune.

The Street looked at that $499 price point and hastily revised its numbers

"It finally gives the right form," writes Oppenheimer's Yair Reiner in what is so far the most lyrical analyst note on Apple's new iPad, "to leisurely functions long trapped, like the Frog Prince, in the body of a late-20th century office productivity tool."

Yet after all that and more ("Copycat devices will pullulate in iPad's wake"), Reiner's estimates of iPad sales are among the lowest -- a mere 1.1 million in fiscal 2010. Others were not so conservative. Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty has Apple (aapl) selling 9 million iPads in calendar 2011 at an average sales price of $660, adding $5.9 billion to its bottom line. That's within striking distance of her estimate for the entire iPod line ($6.8 billion).

Below: Our analysts' spreadsheet. We'll update it as more estimates come in.

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Unit sales 2010 (millions)Unit sales 2011 (millions)Year (C or F)
Brian Marshall, Broadpoint AmTech7.013.0Calendar
David Bailey, Goldman Sachs6.210.1Calendar
Kathryn Huberty, Morgan Stanley6.09.0Calendar
Shaw Wu, Kauffman Bros.5.010.012 mos.
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray3.58.0Calendar
Ben Reitzes, Barclay's Capital2.97.3Fiscal
Keith Bachman, BMO Capital2.55.5Fiscal
Jeff Fidacaro, Susquehanna2.13.8Calendar
Chris Whitmore, Deutsche Bank2.04.0Calendar
Bill Shope, Credit Suisse1.87.4Fiscal
Scott Craig, Merrill Lynch1.23.7Fiscal
Peter Misek, Canaccord Adams1.23.5Fiscal
Doug Reid, Thomas Weisel1.16.8Fiscal
Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer1.14.0Fiscal

. . .

(Note that the sales estimates are difficult to compare because they are measured over different time periods. Wu, for example, is using 12 months dating from when the first units ship.)

At least six analysts -- Reitzes, Munster, Reiner, Fidacaro, Craig and Bailey -- have raised their AAPL targets since the unveiling (to $285, $284, $265, $260, $250 and $240, respectively).

Shares closed Wednesday at $207.88, up 1.03 points (0.5%) for the day. They were down sharply in early trading Thursday.

See also:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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