Taiwan-based PC and smartphone vendor Asustek is expected increase its tablet sales forecast for the full year to 2 million units. Taiwan Economic News reports that the increased estimates would follow strong Eee Pad Transformer demand, as well as Asustek general manager Kevin Lin’s recent comments that ASUS was the No. 2 tablet vendor in Taiwan last quarter. Despite some reports to the contrary, most agree that ASUS’s Eee Pad Transformer tablet has been a big hit for the vendor. The company’s first Honeycomb tablet sold out quickly at retail locations when it was released earlier this year, and high demand kept shipments up for several months. ASUS also recently unveiled its second convertible tablet, the Padfone, which is expected to launch later this year, combining a 10.1-inch tablet with a standalone 4.3-inch Android smartphone. More →
The launch of Apple’s next-generation iPhone will propel global iPhone sales to 30 million units in the calendar fourth quarter of this year, BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk wrote on Wednesday. BTIG had previously estimated that Apple would sell 21.5 million iPhone handsets in the fourth quarter, but in light of Apple having recently reporting sales of 20.34 million units in the fiscal third quarter, the firm’s previous estimate is almost certainly low. Piecyk also believes Apple may sell more than 10 million iPhones in the U.S. alone in the fourth quarter. AT&T, he says, could sell as many as 5 million Apple phones next quarter thanks to the iPhone 5 launch and the possible continuation of a $50 legacy iPhone model. Verizon could sell as many as 4 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, making up 45% of the carrier’s smartphone sales in the quarter; Piecyk thinks Verizon’s continued success with 4G LTE-enabled Android smartphones will drive total smartphone sales to 9 million units in the quarter. Finally, the analyst sees Sprint launching the fifth-generation iPhone this fall, and he estimates sales of 1.5 million units in the fourth quarter. More →
UBS analyst Amitabh Passi on Wednesday cut his price target on shares of Research In Motion stock to $30 from a previous target of $41, and reiterated a Neutral rating. Passi stated in his note to investors that RIM is currently facing challenges in the “platform wars” underway between companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft. While the analyst sees the successful launches of RIM’s BlackBerry 7 phones as being important for the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor in the near term, he says the company’s successful transition to QNX is much more important to RIM strategically. In other words, there’s still hope if BlackBerry 7 devices aren’t a collective home run. In the meantime however, Passi says that UBS’s checks reaffirm RIM’s declining smartphone market share. “Our store checks also show accelerating market share deterioration for new subscribers during June and July as multiple top-tier Android products have been rolling out and Apple continues to gain market share,” the analyst wrote. As a result, Passi cut his revenue estimates for RIM’s fiscal year to $19.8 billion from $21.1 billion, and he lowered his EPS estimate to $4.82 from $5.81. Also lowered in Passi’s note were his smartphone unit shipments estimate, which dropped to 51.5 million units from 54.9 million, and his estimate for PlayBook shipments, which now sits at 2.5 million units compared to his earlier projection of 3.6 million tablets.
Shipments of Asustek’s popular Eee Pad Transformer tablet have surpassed 400,000 units per month according to a report from DigiTimes. The industry watcher cites anonymous sources at touchscreen display panel suppliers in claiming shipments are expected to grow even further in the third quarter, possibly reaching up to 500,000 units per month. ASUS reportedly hopes to ship between 4 million and 5 million tablets across all of its models during the second half of 2011, and almost 3 million units could be Transformers if DigiTimes’ report is accurate. Analysts at J.P. Morgan Chase claimed last month that sales were slowing and ASUS’ convertible tablet was overstocked in some channels, but this continued high production volume would certainly suggest that the opposite is in fact the case. The Eee Pad Transformer is a 10.1-inch Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablet with a dual-core Tegra 2 processor that ships with a full notebook-sized keyboard dock. The slate can be used on its own or docked so that its function more closely resembles that of a laptop computer. More →
Earlier this week, Forbes writer Philip Elmer-Dewitt collected third-quarter iPad sales estimates from some 39 different analysts — both amateur and professional — and laid out the tale of the tape ahead of Apple’s earnings report next week. On Wednesday, Dewitt collected third-quarter iPhone sales estimates from the same 39 analysts. Estimates range from the 15 million iPhones Needham’s Charlie Wolf predicted late last month to a record 20.25 million units suggested by Traderhood’s Nicolae Mihalache. The analysts’ calls average out to 16.9 million units, which would be just over double Apple’s iPhone sales in the same quarter a year prior. Apple sold a record 18.65 million iPhones in the second fiscal quarter of this year, and the company’s iPhone business brought in $12.3 billion in revenue. More →
Ahead of Apple’s third-quarter earnings report on July 19th, Fortune has tapped 39 analysts and has created a roundup of their iPad sales estimates. We already know that the iPad 2 has been flying off of store shelves since Apple announced the tablet on March 2nd. However, demand was so great that it’s unclear just how many Apple was able to manufacture and sell during the third quarter. Brian Marshall from Gleacher, Daniel Ernst from Hudson Square, and Mark McKechnie from Think Equity all estimate that Apple sold 6 million iPads during the quarter. That’s at the low-end of the analyst’s predictions. Amateur analyst Navin Nagrani suggested that the Cupertino-based firm sold 9.5 million iPads, but that’s still short of the 14 million iPad units sold that CLSA predicted last month. The average estimate of 7.92 million iPads sold is on a par with the Wall Street prediction of 7.72 million units, a 142% jump from the third quarter of 2010. Who’s right and who’s wrong? We’ll find out next Tuesday. More →
Tablet shipments following the 2010 holiday season dropped by more than a quarter according to market watcher IDC, but the firm still raised its full-year forecast in its latest Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker report. First-quarter 2011 tablet shipments were down by 28% sequentially according to IDC, due to iPad shipments that were “well below expectations.” Yet the firm has high hopes for Apple’s iPad 2 tablet in 2011, and it raised its full-year shipment estimates to 53.5 million units from 50.4 million units as a result. Apple isn’t the only company finding success with tablets, however, as Android tablets were up 8.2 points sequentially to 34% of total shipments in the first quarter according to IDC. “Like the PC market, Media Tablets had a bit of a challenging quarter in Q1, as concerns about general macroeconomic issues and the post-holiday letdown took a toll on demand,” said IDC’s VP of Clients and Displays Bob O’Donnell in a statement. “We expect the rest of the year to be much stronger, but we believe vendors who continue to focus on the telco channel for distribution will face serious challenges.” O’Donnell’s colleague Jennifer Song, IDC Research Analyst, added, “Although media tablet sales were not as high as expected in 1Q11 due to slower consumer demand, overall economic conditions, and supply-chain constraints, we believe with the entrance of competitive new devices in second half of 2011, the market will sell close to 53 million units for the year and continue to grow long-term.” IDC’s full press release follows below. More →
Apple’s market-leading iOS tablet isn’t just the slate of choice for iPhone users according to a recent report. According to checks performed by Canaccord Genuity analysts T. Michael Walkley, Charles John and Matthew D. Ramsay, Android smartphone users are purchasing the iPad over Android alternatives like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola XOOM. Canaccord notes that Samsung, Asus and Amazon likely pose the biggest threat to Apple’s strong global tablet position, but early iPad adoption among Android users could pose a problem for these competitors. The firm speculates that the high price points for tablet apps will likely lock these users into Apple’s iOS ecosystem, making it less likely that they will switch to an Android-based tablet in the near future. “Our smartphone and handset checks indicate iPads are selling better to Android smartphone users than the current Android tablets,” Canaccord’s report states. “As a result, we argue consumers purchasing a tablet are more likely to remain in that ecosystem given higher price points for tablet applications. With our checks indicating Android smartphone consumers are choosing the iPad versus Android tablets, we believe this is a powerful trend for Apple’s growing iOS base. Therefore, we anticipate Apple should maintain dominant share of the tablet market in C2011 and C2012.” Canaccord also notes that Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablets could do well when they become available next year, though the firm notes that Microsoft’s success could come mainly from the enterprise market. While Walkley and his team expect Apple’s share of the tablet market to slide significantly over the next two years — from an estimated 82% in 2010 to 56% in 2011 and 51% in 2012 — Canaccord sees Apple selling 35.8 million iPads this year and 55.1 million units in 2012, well ahead of its closest competitor Samsung, which is expected to sell 7.5 million tablets this year and 12 million tablets in 2012. Canaccord’s tablet unit and market share estimates follow below. More →
HTC is set to slide into the No. 4 spot on the list of the world’s top smartphone vendors next year according to Taiwan-based research firm Market Intelligence Center. The slot is currently held by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. Headquartered outside Taiwan’s capital, HTC has quietly built a smartphone empire as well as one of the highest market caps of any tech company on the Taiwan exchange. HTC builds some of the most popular Android smartphones in the world, and the company reported profits of NT$14.83 billion in the first quarter of 2011 — triple the profit it recorded in the same quarter one year prior. HTC also shipped 9.7 million smartphones in the first quarter, which represents a 192% improvement over the first quarter of 2010. Market Intelligence Center estimates that global smartphone shipments will reach 452 million units this year, and 1.084 billion units in 2015. More →
Acer on Friday drastically lowered its 2011 shipment forecast for tablet PCs, Taiwan Economic News reported. The company now anticipates shipping approximately 2.5 million consumer tablets in 2011, down 50% or more from earlier projections of between 5 and 7 million units. Acer chairman J. T. Wang said at a shareholder meeting that Acer would likely meet its second-quarter shipment goals, which are down 10% sequentially, and that third-quarter shipments could be marginally better. Wang said performance will likely not improve until the company’s planned restructuring is completed in the fourth quarter, however. Company president Jim Wong said the company lowered its tablet shipment forecast due mainly to excessive inventory that has built up at distributor locations. Wong believes end user sales have been lower than expected because of strong competition from competing tablet models. More →
There are countless methods research firms use in an attempt to amass useful data for their analyses, and perhaps one of the most underutilized sources of sentiment at this point in time is social chatter. Several progressive firms have emerged recently, however, and they see the value in scouring the social web for freely-available data, and that data can be extremely valuable to researchers and businesses alike. Case in point: using online social mentions and opinion between April 1st and June 21st as a gauge, social media listening firm Mashwork has determined that the Samsung Galaxy S II is the more highly anticipated upcoming Android superphone compared to the Motorola DROID BIONIC. Data from 14,838 users across Facebook, Twitter and other social networking services shows that 68% of prospective buyers are interested in purchasing the Galaxy S II while 32% are interested in the DROID BIONIC. More specifically, 39% of of the unsolicited opinions gathered stated that they will purchase the Galaxy S II and 29% expressed interest in buying the phone. Meanwhile, 19% said they would be purchasing the DROID BIONIC and 13% simply expressed interest. In terms of trends, interest in the Galaxy S II is on the rise leading up to the smartphone’s launch while interest in the DROID BIONIC has decreased over the past two months. Mashwork’s infographic detailing social opinions on the two phones follows below. More →
Apple plans to ship more than 8 million MacBook Air computers in the third quarter of 2011, DigiTimes claims in a new report on Friday. The number represents more than twice the total number of Mac computers Apple shipped during its fiscal second quarter. DigiTimes‘ report cites sources within Apple’s supply chain in stating that combined MacBook production was ramped up to 2.2-2.4 million units in June, and Apple is expected to yield 2.7-2.8 million units in July. The Cupertino-based company is expected to release refreshed MacBook Air models ahead of the release of its new Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, and the notebooks should feature Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports. The anticipated spec boost is expected to cause a surge in MacBook Air sales, but a target of 8 million units in a single quarter doesn’t seem terribly realistic; Apple shipped a total of 3.76 million Mac units in its March quarter, including its MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac and Mac Pro lines. Unless Apple also plans to announce a drastic price reduction when it unveils its new MacBook Air PCs in the coming weeks, we don’t see the company coming anywhere close to shipping 8 million units next quarter. More →
Sales of Apple’s iPad 2 tablet are set to explode in the third quarter according to Hong Kong-based research firm CLSA. Citing LCD sales data from DisplaySearch, the firm thinks Apple will unload 14.4 million iPad 2 tablets in the third quarter this year, well above the consensus of between 10 and 12 million units. But nothing is set in stone and Apple has widely missed iPad sales estimates in the past, though those misses were due largely to supply constraints. “Keep in mind that AAPL has missed iPad consensus in 2 out of the last 3 quarters, even when supply chain forecasts were higher,” the firm’s note warns. If CLSA’s research is accurate, we can also expect Apple to launch a 4G LTE-compatible iPad model ahead of the holidays this year.