How many iPads will Apple sell?

January 28, 2010, 2:00 PM UTC

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

Steve Jobs with his iPad. Photo: Michael Copeland

“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.

Unit sales 2010 (millions) Unit sales 2011 (millions) Year (C or F)
Brian Marshall, Broadpoint AmTech 7.0 13.0 Calendar
David Bailey, Goldman Sachs 6.2 10.1 Calendar
Kathryn Huberty, Morgan Stanley 6.0 9.0 Calendar
Shaw Wu, Kauffman Bros. 5.0 10.0 12 mos.
Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray 3.5 8.0 Calendar
Ben Reitzes, Barclay’s Capital 2.9 7.3 Fiscal
Keith Bachman, BMO Capital 2.5 5.5 Fiscal
Jeff Fidacaro, Susquehanna 2.1 3.8 Calendar
Chris Whitmore, Deutsche Bank 2.0 4.0 Calendar
Bill Shope, Credit Suisse 1.8 7.4 Fiscal
Scott Craig, Merrill Lynch 1.2 3.7 Fiscal
Peter Misek, Canaccord Adams 1.2 3.5 Fiscal
Doug Reid, Thomas Weisel 1.1 6.8 Fiscal
Yair Reiner, Oppenheimer 1.1 4.0 Fiscal

. . .

(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.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]