Apple will sell 45 million iPads in 2011: analyst

New deals with Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Target and Wal-Mart, along with a revamped iPad 2, will help fuel strong Apple tablet sales according to a leading analyst.

Brian White, an analyst with Ticonderoga Securities, predicts Apple can sell 45 million iPads next year.

“We believe these announcements are significant in Apple’s push to expand the adoption of iPad before competitors begin offering tablet-like devices in early 2011,” White told The Financial Times.

On Thursday, Apple announced plans for both Verizon Wireless and AT&T to offer the iPad in stores across the US from 28 October.

White added a field trip to China and Taiwan recently had helped gauge potential iPad sales, despite companies such as Samsung and RIM starting to offer real competition in the computer tablet market.

“Additionally, this aggressive sales channel expansion by Apple supports our field check last week with a Taiwan supplier that is expecting up to 45m iPad unit sales this year – more than double our 21.8m forecast.”

White expected China Unicom to start selling the iPad before the end of 2010.

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