Tablets may not hit Q4 targets

Apple’s iPad and other tablets may not sell as well as analysts had estimated according to an interview with Bloomberg by US analyst Ashok Kumar of Rodman & Renshaw.

Kumar expects that the current belt-tightening to have a real effect on tablet sales, as consumers cut back spending on new technology or opt for new smartphones and laptops instead.

Apple, which sold 4.19 million iPads in Q3, may have trouble hitting the original estimates of six million units to be shipped in in Q4 by as many as one million.

According to Kumar Tablet computers, which let customers watch videos and read digital magazines and books, are still a “tweener” niche with limited capabilities that might prevent consumers from adopting the technology as quickly as some industry analysts had forecast. Additionally Kumar also cited that Samsung was in discussions with suppliers following poor sales for the Galaxy. Which seems strange to us, considering it’s really only just gone on sales and it’s still only very early days for the Galaxy, and – for that matter – iPads.

“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,” said New York-based Kumar, who rates the shares “market outperform” and doesn’t own any.

We’re not sure about this at Business Mobile, it seems to go against what we see happening in the market, plus in the UK we think issues such as the impending 20% VAT rate will actually increase sales of the iPad and Tablet-like devices in the run up to the 31st January. However we do think the additional two and half percent in VAT, when it arrives, will have an effect on tablet sales, and it will turn the “must have and just about affordable” tablet devices into a “wish list when we have some money” product, so anything aimed at the high-end may suffer.

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