Two analysts appear to have differing opinions on the iPad’s future: one believes Apple is preparing to ramp up production of the tablet, while another says the good times may be coming to an end. First the positive outlook: the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is selling 1.2 million iPads per month and has signed a second supplier to meet an increasing demand.
DigiTimes, citing market sources, said Friday Samsung Electronics will join LG Display to supply 9.7-inch LCD panels for Apple’s iPad. The companies are expected to ship 300,000 to 500,000 panels each month.
Apple has seen a steady increase in iPad demand, currently at 1.2 million of the devices each month, up from 800,000-900,000 in May, 700,000 in April, and 300,000 in February. That figure could hit 2.5 million iPads per month by the holiday period, the researchers predict.
While the iPad’s quick availability internationally has helped early sales, the researchers said the introduction of iOS4 with multitasking and other features will likely propel sales even more. However, a Forrester researcher is taking the opposite viewpoint, expecting iPad sales to diminish.
Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said total tablet sales for 2010 will be 3.5 million. Apple has announced it sold 2 million iPads in April and May, resulting in some onlookers – such as the Apple 2.0 blog – to write the Cupertino, Calif. company is destined to sell a few hundred iPads each month.
“It will be lucky to sell 1.5 million [iPads] between June and December — or fewer than 215,000 per month,” according to Philip Elmer-Dewitt.
The June financial quarter ends soon, at which time we should have a better picture of which analyst had the better crystal ball.