Apple Catching Up on iPhone 4, iPad Production

The wait for a new Apple iPhone 4 order should be shorter by the end of September, which would help Apple sell 14 million new handsets in the third quarter and another 15 million in the final three months of 2010 according to an industry analyst. With the expectation that LG is ramping up production of 9.7-inch display panels, iPad orders should flow faster as well, with Apple having the capability to sell 5 to 6 million tablets this quarter.

The supply-side observations came today in a research note from Ashok Kumar, the Rodman & Renshaw analyst I spoke with last month about how general smartphone component shortages can negatively impact the delivery of new technologies. Because the supply constraints of Apple’s iPhone and iPad will be resolved in a relatively short time frame, Kumar figures that Apple will continue to surpass earnings and sales expectations. Once Apple catches up on current orders, stock of additional iPhones and iPad should begin appearing in retail stores.

Apple production bottlenecks might ease even earlier than Kumar predicts, however. This past Sunday evening, just three nights ago, I walked into a local AT&T store to order an iPhone 4 for my son. I thought it would take a minimum of three weeks for the phone to arrive given that’s the current delay Apple’s online store forecasts for the newest iPhone. Yet on Monday morning, I received tracking information telling me that the 16 GB iPhone 4 was shipped via UPS. Today the phone arrived, and is waiting for activation and pickup at AT&T.

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