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TMCNet:  Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Best Buy and Wal-Mart Stores

[March 15, 2011]

Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Best Buy and Wal-Mart Stores

CHICAGO, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Analyst Blog features: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).

(Logo: Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog: iPad2 Receives Great Response Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) much-hyped tablet computer iPad2 received a blockbuster response in its debut weekend. Analysts believe that Apple may have sold more than 500,000 iPad2s after retail outlets ran out of the tablet-style device since its arrival on March 11.

iPad2 is available at more than 236 retail stores in the U.S. and also at thousands of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) stores, among others.

iPad2 was also available online at Apple's website, expected to be delivered to customers in less than a weeks' time. However, due to the exceptionally strong demand, Apple has extended the delivery time to up to a month for online orders.

According to Piper Jaffray, iPad2 sales are expected to surpass the previous estimate of 5.5 million units for the current quarter, which ends on March 31, 2011. The analyst also noted that 70.0% of the iPad2 customers were first-time buyers, which suggests increased product adoption for Apple.

From March 25, 2011, Apple will begin shipping iPad 2 overseas to 26 countries including the U.K., Germany, Belgium and Japan. We believe that the international roll out will be equally successful.

According to research firm IDC, Apple's share of the tablet market slipped to 73% in the December quarter, from 93% in the September quarter. However, IDC expects Apple to maintain 70%-80% market share through 2011, primarily due to the launch of iPad2. Based on IDC estimates, Apple will ship a minimum of 35 million tablets in 2011.

Apple sold more than 300,000 iPads on the very first day of its launch in April, 2010. The company sold more than 15 million in the first nine months of its launch, which included 7.3 million to holiday shoppers during the December quarter.

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