updated 08:40 am EDT, Fri June 17, 2011
iPad-sized touchscreens hit 5.38m in May alone
A new breakdown of tablet display shipments by Displaybank on Friday has hinted that iPad shipments could be much higher than they were in the winter. Deliveries of 9.7-inch touchscreens, used almost exclusively by the iPad, hit 5.38 million units in May alone. About 4.5 million of those were from Apple's two main contractors for iPad screens, LG Display (three million) and Samsung (1.5 million).
The researchers didn't break shipments down by the intended products. Few companies are using 9.7-inch screens besides Apple. HP's upcoming TouchPad is the only major design known to be using the same panel size but should be shipping in much lower numbers.
With Apple having shipped 4.69 million iPads through all three months of the winter quarter, the figures imply that Apple will be shipping several million more iPads in the spring after having reached last season's shipments in one month. April and June production numbers haven't been given out but won't necessarily be substantially lower.
Competition would still be struggling based on the shipment numbers. About 986,000 10.1-inch screens were shipping in May, most of which were headed to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 but also included Motorola's Xoom, Acer's Iconia Tab and other mostly Android-based designs. The 6.37 million shipments between Apple and rivals left just 110,000 screens of other sizes for the BlackBerry PlayBook and competitors.
The screen figures pointed to competitors getting substantial market share when combined but not necessarily catching up to Apple in the near term following an explosion in demand.