Is the iPad a digital revolutionary?

Posted by STARR KESHET

Is Apple's "magical" iPad a digital revolutionary? Is it destined - like a more benevolent version of Che Guevara - to free the seething peasant masses from their dependency on unwieldy PCs?

Well, according to Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, the iPad is poised to outsell the Mac in 2011, with total sales expected to hit a staggering 21 million before 2012. 

"We believe the iPad represents a meaningful product category for Apple as a secondary computing device for those who already have a primary computer," Munster wrote in an investor's note obtained by AppleInsider.

Is the iPad a digital revolutionary?"[It is also] a primary device for those who could not previously afford a Mac, [as well as] the first Apple product that will be a success in the enterprise. [So], we [definitely] see the iPad as the Mac for the masses."

Munster explained that increased availability and rapid enterprise adoption had prompted him to signifcantly revise initial sales projections from (a relatively paltry) 14.5 million iPads to the above-mentioned figure of 21 million.

He also noted that the iPad's presence in retail stores such as Best Buy and Target would help drive sales forward to an even higher level.

Finally, Munster said he believed Apple will control up to 94 percent of the worldwide tablet market in 2010, by claiming 10.7 million of the total 11.3 million tablet sales for the year. 



However, the analyst acknowledged that Android-based devices would eventually challenge the iPad, as version 3.0 of the popular OS - codenamed "Gingerbread" - is specifically optimized for tablets.