Analysts pull away from iPad "rivals".
In the wake of the iPad 2, competing tablet-makers are still scrambling to come up with a counter. Samsung has taken the 10.1" Tab back to the drawing board. Acer's Slider tablet has been pushed to June. Everywhere you look, companies we'd expected to play a major role in the "tablet" wars are faltering.
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You have to wonder at this point what sort of tablet market exists outside of the iPad. One Wall Street analyst recently cautioned that expected sales for iPad rivals were too high. The bullish hopes spurred by a tablet-friendly CES and MWC could cause "increasing risk of a bubble burst" in 2H 2011.
J.P. Morgan estimates some 47.9 million tablet sales this year, while tablet shipments are estimated at 65.1 million. The scenario doesn't get much more grim than that. Right now, manufacturers are pouring tens of billions into a market that may not exist yet. If they fall flat this early out of the gate, the tablet market will take much longer to mature than the smartphone market has.
If oversupply that drastic sounds unbelievable, look at the Galaxy Tab. Current estimates have 40% of all models shipped sitting unsold on store shelves. The Motorola Xoom would be in danger of the same fate, if it was shipping in any volume.
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Interestingly, analysts noted the Motorola Xoom and the HP TouchPad as the only attractive iPad competitors. The Xoom's cost removes it as a likely volume competitor with the iPad 2. But the TouchPad may be a different story. If HP ships for under $500, they could find themselves taking up a position as the iPad's first legitimate competitor.