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iPad Currently Outselling Macs?

According to RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky, Apple’s hot iPad tablet device is currently outselling the Cupertino company’s main line of Macintosh computers…by a factor of almost two-to-one. According to Abramsky’s estimates—based on retail store checks—the iPad is moving about 200,000 units per week in the United States, compared to about 110,000 Macintosh computers being sold during the week. Add into that an estimated 600,000 iPads Apple has potentially pre-sold to nine international markets (sales start May 28), and Abramsky forecasts Apple may be on tack to sell 8 million iPads in 2010, more than the 5 million units Abramsky forecast back in March.

“Retail store checks in mid-May show widespread iPad stockouts at Apple retail stores and Best Buy,” Abramsky wrote in a note to clients that has been forwarded to Digital Trends. He also notes over one quarter of Apple stores “selected Wi-Fi iPads (3G sold out) and are allocating to waiting lists).”

According to Abramsky, the iPad still has a way to go to catch up with the iPhone 3GS, which he estimates is selling about 246,000 units per week.

Abramsky’s forecast for 2010 iPad sales is one of the largest to date, although a few other analysts have recently raised their forecasts, though not so high as eight million units.

The question is whether it’s at all surprising that a device like the iPad would outsell Apple’s famously pricey notebook and desktop computers. It’s been years since the bulk of Apple’s revenues were made up of Macintosh sales: the Mac was first eclipsed by the iPod, and then by the success of the iPhone. With iPads starting at about half the cost of the least expensive notebook computer (and less than Apple’s low-end Mac minis), it’s not very surprising that the iPad might be an appealing “starter” Apple product for consumers who are not already part of Apple’s ecosystem. And with iPads available without 3G—and with 3G using month-to-month no-contract connectivity—the iPad actually has less consumer commitment than an iPhone.

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