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Apple to Sell 50 Million iPads per Year?

One person thinks that not only will the iPad continue to sell, but sell extremely well.  That person? Jeff Matthews of RAM Partners.

According to Matthews, Apple will sell 50 million iPads every year.  That’s not a misprint, 50 million per year.

Given the amazing start the device has had, selling 1 million units as fast Apple did, 3 million just as fast, current sales in the neighborhood of 4 million iPads sold already, and 12 million should be sold this year.  So selling 50 million in a couple of years doesn’t sound like a stretch, especially if the price comes down.

Further, with how popular the iPad has been not only with consumers, but those making apps for the device, the 50 million iPads per year scenario seems even more likely.  (Yes, there will be competition, especially from Android-based tablets.  But this market is wide-open enough that we expect Apple to be able to maintain strong growth for at least a few years.)

These numbers beg the question, how much revenue would Apple generate if/when it sells 50 million iPads a year?

The current ASP (average selling price) for the product is somewhere in the $650 range.  Over the next couple of years, the ASP will likely drop significantly, perhaps to the $400 range.

50 million units at $400 apiece would be $20 billion of revenue.  That compares to Apple’s $60 billion of revenue today.

What do you think?  Is it likely that Apple will sell 50 million iPads per year in the coming years, or do you think increased competition will hinder the sales figures predicted by Matthews?