As iPad day approaches, sales estimates are getting increasingly bullish. iSuppli said today it expects Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) to sell 7 million iPads during the remaining nine months of this year and 14.4 million next calendar year. Unbelievably, the market research firm calls its estimate “conservative” and says first year sales could be even higher if Apple adds Flash support.
Most Wall Street analysts put sales below iSuppli’s forecast. Piper Jaffray, for instance, expects Apple to sell between 3 and 4 million iPads during its first 12 months on the market. That is above the firm’s initial estimate of 1.9 million.
Some perspective: Apple sold more than 5 million iPhones during that device’s first 12 months on the market.
The iPad is arguably creating a new market — so sales are difficult to benchmark, which could explain the discrepancy in the forecasts. We’ve also asked iSuppli for some additional details on its methodology and will update when we hear back. iSuppli’s general reasoning for its estimate: “The iPad’s attractive design, compelling applications and multi-touch capability, key components of Apple Inc.’s past successes, will help to offset the initial omission of Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) Flash from the device.”