Research firm iSuppli raised its prediction for the number of iPads that Apple (s aapl) will ship this year from 7.1 million to 12.9 million. No matter how you feel about Apple or the iPad, there is no denying the popularity of the tablet based on sales numbers. The higher number of predicted iPads to ship in 2010 is due to increased production at Apple’s Asian suppliers, along with the high consumer demand.
“Apple has hiked its iPad manufacturing goals to suppliers across Asia. As iSuppli stated in its initial forecast, the key to continuing success will be how quickly Apple responds to issues as they arise and whether the company can align suppliers to meet demand needs. Apple’s acceleration of its component demand indicates that the company has raised its iPad production target for 2010. Our latest research indicates there is much higher production than previously expected for two key components: LCD panels and NAND flash.”
Apple has taken a conservative rollout strategy outside the U.S. to prevent a shortage of iPads available to meet the expected demand. A healthy supply of components required to make the tablet will allow the company to step up promotion to a higher level. The new iSuppli prediction is based on the belief that consumer demand for the iPad will keep up with any production levels, even with the higher than expected number of components to build them.
The research shows the iPad will own 84 percent of the tablet market this year, which is outstanding given the short life of the product. Competing tablets running the Android and webOS operating systems are not expected until the end of this year or early next year. The iSuppli forecast pegs Apple to ship 50 million iPads in 2012.
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