Lower Q1 iPad sales prompt analysts to slash 2011 tablet forecast for Apple

Wall Street analysts are beginning to reevaluate their yearly iPad forecasts for Apple, Inc. Previous prognostications from the financial sector had the Cupertino-based company selling somewhere between 40 million and 50 million iPads during 2011. After Apple’s Q1 earnings call last week — where the company sold far fewer iPads than expected — the aforementioned analysts have started to reevaluate their estimates. “They are going to have comparison issues on the growth side,” said Michael Walker, a portfolio manager at WP Stewart speaking to Reuters. “They can’t grow 83 percent forever. There’s no way.” Firm Merrill Lynch is expecting Apple to sell just north of 26 million iPads during 2011, while IHS Suppli is expecting the company to move 39.6 million tablets during the same time period.

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