Analyst: 2011 iPad Sales Could Hit 25 Million

Apple’s iPad is popular enough that the company is having difficulty keeping the multimedia tablet devices in stock, and that popularity could lead to some 25 million units sold in 2011, according to Bernstein Research analyst, Toni Sacconaghi.

“An analysis based on extrapolating sales trajectories of suggests that Apple could sell a staggering 25 million iPads or more in fiscal year 2011,” Mr. Sacconaghi said. “We believe that current buyside expectations for fiscal year 2011 for the iPad are now at 20 to 25 million+ units, largely based on such an extrapolation.”

So far, iPad sales seem to be limited only by availability and not a lack of demand. Apple sold 3 million units during the first 80 days the tablet was on the market, and demand doesn’t seem to be diminishing. Most of the company’s retail stores are offering waiting lists for iPad buyers, and the online Apple Store is showing 7-10 day shipping delays.

Despite his own 25 million unit figure, Mr. Sacconaghi is expecting Apple to sell somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 million iPads in 2011.

“While iPad’s fast start points to the potential for 25 million iPads in fiscal year 2011, we note that the range of outcomes is wide and uncertain, particularly since the product use-cases and competitive offerings are very nascent,” he said. “We currently estimate 18 million iPads for fiscal year 2011, but underscore that we do not have high conviction in our estimate.”

The limited amount of data thanks to the short amount of time the iPad has been on the market is making it difficult for analysts to better estimate future sales. Despite the wide variance in projected figures, however, it looks like most analysts expect the iPad will continue to be another success story for Apple.

Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at US$262.61, up 3.95 (1.53%).

[Thanks to AllThingsD for the heads up.]