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Will Apple iPad Sales Eclipse Amazon Kindle, Early iPhone?

Apple iPad sales in 2010 will beat the total number of Amazon Kindle e-readers sold, according to analyst predictions, as the industry awaits the iPad's April 3 arrival.

And early predictions indicate that the iPad, Apple's touch-screen tablet style mobile computer, will eclipse early versions of the Apple iPhone and Apple's e-reader rival the Amazon Kindle.

The iPad will be available on April 3.

According to several reports, most notably a piece on Forbes.com, the Apple iPad has stirred such a frenzy that it could come out of the gate and sell a near instant million or more.

"Investors are already betting iPad sales will exceed the other frenzy seen two years ago, when Apple sold 1.12 million iPhones during its first complete quarter of sales," Forbes wrote. "In fact, in a little less than a year iPad unit sales are expected to exceed the estimated 3 million [Amazon] Kindles that have sold to date."

Granted, industry Kreskins vary on their iPad predictions, but each one has the iPad crushing it when it lands in stores. In an investor's note, one Barclays Capital analyst predicted Apple will unload 5 million iPads in 2010, including the 1.2 million sold in the quarter ending in June, it's first quarter available, Forbes reported. That analyst added that those numbers "could prove conservative."

Elsewhere, an analyst with Macquarie Equities forecasts 2.5 million Apple iPads will sell at an average price of $599 during fiscal 2010.

Predictions that the Apple iPad will leave the Amazon Kindle in its dust come as the industry as a whole foresees bad news for Amazon and its darling e-reader when the iPad officially rolls into town.

Word broke on Friday that Apple will use the iPad's iBookstore to turn up the heat on Amazon and the Kindle with competitive e-book pricing. Apple is also expected to allow publishes to set their price for books, while Amazon insists on setting prices.

While others like Sony and Barnes & Noble have attempted to unseat the Amazon Kindle as the dominant e-reader, none has made the impact predicted from the iPad. Amazon in 2009 held 60 percent of e-reader market share, according to Forrester Research, but Apple's offering of an all-in-one computer and e-reader could unseat king Kindle.

Meanwhile, Amazon is scrambling to stay relevant as the iPad launch looms, unveiling Kindle for Mac, a compliment to its Kindle for the iPhone app, while Amazon also hints at a Kindle-specific offering for the iPad.

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