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Apple to sell 60m iPads in 2012 - analyst

But Jeffries' Peter Misek reduces overall tablet market projections

Apple will sell 60 million iPads in 2012, according to Peter Misek of Jeffries, though the analyst has revised his prediction of 150 million sales for the whole of the tablet market next year.

Misek now believes that sales of tablets this year will only reach the 125 million mark and gives two reasons for this revised estimate.

Firstly, Misek said in a new note issued to Jeffries clients today, is that the market has consolidated more quickly than expected.

"Apple, Samsung, and Amazon are the clear momentum leaders at this point. We believe this was mainly due to the immaturity of the Android tablet ecosystem and poor pricing strategies," Misek wrote.

"Many Android tablet vendors like Motorola Mobility Holdings initially priced their devices at or above the iPad while offering less total functionality (even if the hardware spec may have been better). They reacted to initial anemic sales by cutting prices, but it was more inventory clearance rather than rather than an investment to gain a beachhead of market share in a rapidly growing market segment."

Another reason that Jeffries has lowered its tablet sales estimates is that expectations that network operators would aggressively push subsidised tablet deals hadn't materialised.

"We had thought that carriers focus more promotional efforts on subsidised tablets with two-year data contracts, especially as a way to highlight their new LTE networks. While we still think that value proposition makes sense for carriers, we have removed that expectation from our 2012 estimates," Misek said.

Tablet sales of 125 million in 2012 will represent a 79 percent year-on-year growth for the sector. In 2013, Jeffries estimates there will be 170 million tablet sales, with 220 million in 2014.

Apple will retain a comfortable lead in the tablet market, according to Jeffries' predictions, though its market share will drop to 48 percent this year from 58 percent in 2011. In 2013, Apple will sell 71 million iPads, giving it a 42 percent share and in 2014 Misek estimates 82 million iPad sales giving Apple a 37 percent share.

"We believe Apple will increasingly tier its tablet offerings by launching the iPad 3 and keeping the iPad 2 but at a lower price," Misek said, adding that tablet prices in general would continue to fall across the market.

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