updated 08:25 am EDT, Wed April 6, 2011
Suppliers say 2.4m iPad 2 delivered in March
Apple may have had very aggressive launch shipments of the iPad 2 despite the shortages, part suppliers said Wednesday. About 2.4 million to 2.6 million of the tablets are believed to have shipped just in March. The rate should accelerate faster still, Digitimes said, and would hit four million to 4.3 million per month in each spring month to lead to at least 12 million iPad 2s in the season.
The main limiting factor for Apple, and for any other tablet maker, could be the cover lenses for touchscreen panels, suppliers said. Taiwan-area companies like Chunghwa, G-Tech, HannStar, TPK, and Wintek are all increasing their capacities this year. Apple usually only relies on a handful of suppliers, Wintek being one of them, but will have to make sure that the supplier keeps ahead of demand or else that more than one supplier is available.
March shipment figures if accurate would suggest an explosive start to iPad 2 sales. Apple took 28 days to ship its first million iPads and likely reached that mark in half the time or less for the sequel, although claims of a million-unit launch are less likely. The sales acceleration was almost certainly helped by an international release just two weeks after the US, where Apple had to push non-US availability out by several weeks in 2010.
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