Success of the iPad has been exaggerated

Apple's iPad and tablet computers in general have been the subject of over-enthusiastic sales projections and are unlikely to sell in the numbers some analysts have projected.

Some analysts reckon Apple could sell as many as six million of the flat computers in the final quarter of this year on the back of the 4.19 million it flogged last quarter.

The rest of the industry has gone tablet bananas too, with the world and his pet pooch lining up to offer a pad of their own.

But a lone voice of sanity has piped to suggest the feeding frenzy is likely to die down.

Ashok Kumar, Apple watcher at Rodman & Renshaw LLC, predicts Apple may sell as few as five million iPads in the quarter, suggesting folk may in fact spend the few dollars the bankers have left them with on smartphones or proper portable PCs instead.

Kumar cites Samsung Electronics which he says it planning to half its production of Galaxy tabs because of poor sales, have heard whispers from Samsung's suppliers. The firm itself says it's too early to judge how well the device will perform.

Of the iPad, Kumar says: "It’s a nice-to-have product, for those of us who don’t have a budget, but is it a must-have product? I don’t think so.

Apple alone accounts for 95 per cent of the global tablet market. It remains to be seen how well flat, proddable computers will sell without the half-eaten logo on the front. Or whether there's anyone left who really wants an iPad.