Report: Apple Could Sell 28 Million iPads in 2011, Affect Lower-End Notebook Sales

The investment researchers all agree: Apple is going to move a crapton of iPads next year. A UBS report states it could be as high as 28 million while others as Ben Reitzes, an analyst with Barclays Capital, thinks 20 million is more likely. Either way, that’s a lot of iOS devices that will likely steal some PC sales.

These reports go on to explain the somewhat obivous side effect of selling 20 million or more iPads in that a lot of the sales have to come from somewhere else. Many if not most of the buyers would no doubt have explored other low-cost computing options before ending up with the iPad. Chances are lower-end PC sales are going to suffer if these reports turn out to be accurate. And in many cases, the iPad might be the perfect fit for these consumers.

Generally there are two types of consumers looking at low-cost computers: budget-minded people looking for a full computing experience on the cheap and those that simply want a computer for games and communication. Obviously the iPad will not appeal to the first type but for those people that just want something to pass the time, the iPad despite it’s fundamental flaws is just about perfect. These are the folks that will likely opt for the iPad over other low-cost options.

Apple managed to sell over 3 million in the first couple months of the iPad’s life. A good chunk of those consumers bought the iPad without even touching it so don’t think for a minute that Apple’s sales are going to slow down when the second generation hits, and the consumer market is already familiar with the device and form factor. The iPad is clearly on its way to be the iPod of the tablet market.