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Analysts Share Predictions of Apple’s 2011 Sales and Shipments

If analysts’s predictions are to be believed, the numbers shared this morning by Needham’s Charlie Wolf and Susquehanna’s Jeff Fidacaro are surely interesting. With 16.24 million iPhones and 7.33 million iPads sold in the last quarter, Wolf notes that 300 millions smartphones were sold last year, and Apple’s sales trajectory appears to be “higher than expected”. Wolf estimates 75 million iPhone units will be sold in 2011; last year, he predicted 40 million sales and Apple actually sold more, 47.5 million iPhones.

Also according to Wolf, thanks to the availability of the iPhone on other carriers (now Verizon in the United States, more CDMA networks likely to follow soon) Apple’s share in the smartphone market will rise to 22% in the next decade. As for the iPad, Wolf has an interesting theory about the tablet’s market resembling the music player market from a few years ago:

Our forecast of the iPad’s ultimate share of the media table market is materially higher than the forecasts of most pundits. In our opinion, that’s because they’re confusing the media tablet market with the smartphone market. Sales of smartphones […] have been driven by the carriers who can turn the phones into revenue producers by loading them with their own content, software and services (colloquially referred to as “crapware”). However, carriers should play a far more limited role in the distribution of tablets, because tablets are primarily content consumption, not communications devices. We believe the media tablet market will more closely emulate the portable music player market, where the iPod continues to dominate, than the smartphone market.

Wolf raised the target price on AAPL shares from $375 to $450. Fidacaro has raised his target price to a similar level as well ($465), but he’s got different numbers about iPhone and iPad shipments in Q2 2011: 19.8 million iPhone shipments in the quarter, 76.7 million units in the fiscal year 2011. As for the iPad, the upcoming new version of the tablet is part of the predictions as well:

His supply-chain sources suggest a build of 6.7 - 7.1 million iPads in the current quarter (2 million iPad 1s and the rest iPad 2s) and sales of 5.25 - 5.5 million units. The big bump comes next quarter, after what he believes will be the April launch of the iPad 2. He’s looking for sales of 8.5 million iPads (up from 6.5 million) in the June quarter and has raised his fiscal 2011 estimate to 32.1 million iPads (from 27.3 million), an increase of 330% year over year.

Apple’s Q2 2011 conference call is expected to happen sometime in the first weeks of April. Depending on when the iPad 2 becomes available, Apple should announce the sales numbers of the new device in the third quarter of 2011.

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