Analyst: Apple On Track to Sell 3M iPads this Quarter

| Apple Stock Watch

UBS analyst Maynard Um expects Apple to sell 3 million iPads by the end of the quarter following the company’s announcement that it has already sold 2 million units. Apple reported that it hit the 2 million mark in just under 60 days, and most of those iPads were sold in the U.S.

“The daily sales pace appears to have accelerated (excluding the initial US launch) and Apple is on pace to sell  about 3 million iPads by the end of the quarter,” Mr. Um said.

The iPad first went on sale in the U.S. on April 3, and was released in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. on May 28. The company plans to branch out into several more countries in July.

Mr. Um expects interest in the iPad will help drive up excitement at Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference next week, too. Apple hosts the annual event for Mac OS X and iPhone OS developers, although this year will focus more on iPhone-related topics.

Apple will be kicking off the conference with a keynote presentation hosted by company CEO Steve Jobs. “We expect the new iPhone to be the highlight of the keynote, though clearly well anticipated,” Mr. Um said.

Looking towards quarterly sales, Mr. Um expects the big drivers for Apple will turn out to be the iPad and the recently updated MacBook Pro. For next quarter, he sees the iPad and the next generation iPhone to be the big sellers.

For the holiday quarter, Mr. Um thinks Apple will release a CDMA version of the iPhone, although customers hoping to see the combination iPod and smartphone on Verizon are likely to be disappointed. “We maintain our view that Verizon Wireless [as an iPhone partner] is unlikely,” Mr. Um said.

Mr. Um is maintaining his “Buy” rating for Apple’s stock, and raising his target price from US$315 up to $320. Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at $258.80, up 1.92 (0.75%).

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