Apple may not sell as many iPads during the December quarter as everyone and their brother expects, according to Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar. While Wall Street currently expects Apple to peddle some six million of the tablet devices, Mr. Kumar believes it’s likely to be closer to five million because it’s not a must-have product.
The analyst’s glum estimates are still higher than Apple’s guidance, however, as Apple said it expects to sell 4.9 million iPads during the quarter. Mr. Kumar said that many consumers see the iPad, and tablets as a category, as “tweener” devices with limited capabilities, according to a research note covered by Bloomberg.
“It’s a nice-to-have product, for those of us who don’t have a budget, but is it a must-have product? I don’t think so,” Mr. Kumar projected onto everyone else.
But he didn’t focus on just the iPad, which owned some 95% of the tablet market during the September quarter. He noted that Samsung had cut production of its newly released Galaxy Tab by about 50% due to poor sales.
Instead of buying iPads (or Android tablets), Mr. Kumar said that consumers are going to be spending their money on new smartphones and laptops.
Despite this sentiment, Mr. Kumar has Apple’s stock rated as a “Market Outperform.”
Shares in Apple traded higher during the mid-morning session Monday, at $309.23, a modest gain of 1.20 (+0.39%).
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.