updated 01:40 am EDT, Wed June 8, 2011
iPad 2 panel spike hints at shipment rush
Apple is expecting a large surge in demand for the iPad 2 in the back-to-school period, leaked supply numbers hint. One of the tablet's panel makers, Chimei Innolux, is expected to ship 400,000 to 500,000 iPads in June but more than double that to crest over one million a month in July. Combined with manufacturing from TPK and Wintek, the data led Digitims to word of shipments of 3.5 million to four million iPads every month, or 10.5 million to 12 million every quarter.
Some of that production would hinge on Chimei's ability to scale up. Apple would reportedly drop Chimei if it couldn't keep up with demand.
The rate if kept up could see Apple get its first quarter of 10 million-plus iPads and set a high barrier for opponents. Acer, which so far appears to be the frontrunner for Android 3.0 tablet sales, is supposedly shipping one million Iconia Tabs for the whole spring and isn't necessarily poised to see a big increase in the summer. Most companies expect hikes in shipments for the holiday, including Apple, but the data could show Apple confident that its late summer and early fall sales would keep it out in front of competitors and repeat the holiday rush of last year.
Apple hadn't commented on the rumor.