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iPads may be outselling Macs two to one

Projection: 8 million in 2010

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Apple's iPad may be selling nearly twice as well as the company's venerable Macintosh — despite Cupertino's admission that it's having a hard time meeting demand, and despite having to delay its international roll-out by a month.

That's the contention of a seasoned Apple-watcher at RBC Capital Markets. According to The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital, analyst Mike Abramsky — who Yahoo! Finance rates highly for accuracy — issued a research note to his clients on Thursday that said, in part:

Checks indicate that U.S. iPad sales remain strong post-launch, driven by rising consumer visibility to iPad’s user experience, sustained PR/word-of-mouth marketing, 3G iPad launch, and broadening iPad apps/content.

We believe Apple is now selling >200k iPads/week, greater than US Macs (est. 110k Macs/week) and just below US iPhone 3GS first quart (246k/week).

To put numbers on his optimism, Abramsky boosted his projections of worldwide 2010 iPad sales from 5 to 8 million. At that dizzying sales height, according to the WSJ, Abramsky is more confident than most other money folks. The WSJ, for example, cites a Bernstein analyst who predicted 5 million and a Morgan Stanley prognosticator who foresees Apple selling 6 million of its "magical and revolutionary" devices.

Two things to keep in mind when comparing iPad and Mac sales: first, Cupertino just released an updated $999 MacBook (with, according to iFixIt, a slightly larger battery), which should boost Mac sales, especially during the summer months when back-to-school shopping begins.

Second, reports by both Piper Jaffray and UBS seem to indicate that iPad sales aren't cannibalizing Mac sales — at least not yet, since the ranks of the early adopters may be swollen by Apple fans who will simply buy one of everything that emerges from The Mind of Steve.

Still, if early indications are correct, Apple may have yet another hit on its hands with the iPad. And — not for the first time — naysayers may be forced to eat their words. ®

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