Apple has told its Taiwan suppliers to produce around 5 million iPads by mid-year, one analyst said Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger called talk of production delays “just false alarms” after Apple recently announced an April 3 U.S. availability date for the first iPads.
If correct, Berger’s projection would be a bit higher than previous expectations of between 4 million to 5 million of the tablet devices. Late last month, China-based Foxconn Electronics, Apple’s chief supplier in the region, denied reports of a “manufacturing bottleneck” and estimated 1 million iPads would ship in April.
Berger also said he believes many iPhone chip suppliers will also contribute to the iPad. The analyst said iPhone production would drop 20 percent during the current three-month period “as Apple seeks to reduce channel inventory.” Judging by production requests over the past year, Berger described iPhone growth “has been nothing short of spectacular.” In the fourth quarter of 2009, 30.5 million iPhones were built, up from 19.3 million handsets produced in the first quarter of last year. Berger expects 32.7 million iPhones will be built during the first quarter of 2010.
The growth by iPods was described as “mature,” with production rates at 52.3 million during the fourth quarter of 2009, up from 52.5 million during the first quarter of 2008. “IPods seem to be a more mature product pasts its peak as iPhone and iPad sales cannibalize iPod sales,” he noted. However, Apple has increased orders for the iPod by 133 percent with notebook orders up 70 percent and desktop orders 100 percent higher for the current three-month period, Berger said.
- Via AppleInsider