iPad sales estimates continue to grow

We’re just about a week away from the launch of the iPad,
but analysts are getting more and more bullish about the device.Ipad  

BMO Capital’s Keith Bachman has ratcheted up his estimates
for the number of iPads the company will sell in the months to come. Bachman is
raising his fiscal 2011 forecast from 5.5 million to 7.2 million – a 30 percent
upgrade – based on what he sees as continuous growth in the eReader and
netbooks fields.

If the number pans out (and, it’s worth noting, Bachman had
been the analyst with the most conservative numbers until recently), that
should strike fear into the hearts of Amazon, Barnes & Noble and more.

It points to another potential area of dominance by Apple –
and further illustrates why content providers are proving to be quite hesitant
about jumping on board the iPad bandwagon. Pre-launch and early-launch are when
they have the most bargaining power for royalties and flexibility.

The real test of all this, of course, will come after the
Apple faithful grab their iPads – and the rest of the world has a chance to get
one. Will the device be appealing enough to draw them in?