Forrester Projected 3.5 Million Tablet Sales for 2010. iPad Sales Alone May Near 14 Million

There were a lot of questionable survey data analyses and sales projections made in 2010. But, the one that may have puzzled me the most came from Forrester back in June.

Why is Forrester Predicting 3.5 Million Tablets Sold in 2010 When the iPad Alone is On Track for 7 Million Units?

Apple reported selling 4.19 iPads during their fiscal fourth quarter (which ended on Sept. 30, 2010) alone. Cumulative sales were at 7.458 million at that point. Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt polled 27 analysts (Forrester was not among those polled) for iPad sales in Apple’s fiscal 2011 first quarter (which ended Dec. 31, 2010). Analysts’ estimates ranged from 5 million to 7.54 million. Fortune used the average (6.53 million) for their chart.

How big was Apple’s iPad Christmas?

It looks like Apple definitely sold more than 10 million units in 2010 with just 9 months of sales. If Fortune’s analyst average is near the market, the total will be somewhere around 14 million.

I should note that my own 7 million unit sales number was based on a simple notion of non-accelerating sales to demonstrate that even if iPad sales did not increase over time, it was still on target to sell twice as many as Forrester’s projections.