Recall last week’s reports of hard-to-find iPhone 4s? Well, both Apple’s handset and tablet may soon be seen in a store near you as production begins to ramp up to meet demand, analysts said Wednesday.
It’s likely Apple will sell 14 million iPhone 4 handsets during the current September quarter, with 15 million more by the end of 2010, according to Rodman and Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar. While its unclear what has allowed production to increase, in the case of the iPad, it appears one of Apple’s suppliers gets the credit.
LG, which makes the majority of iPad displays, apparently has streamlined the assembly line – just in time. Apple could sell between 5 million and 6 million iPads this quarter. Not only is Apple reportedly now building a 7-inch iPad, the upcoming back-to-school and holiday buying periods should lift demand even higher.
Another possible reason for the greater iPad production was a $240 million deal with Samsung Apple signed to gain 3 million additional displays.
Susquehanna Financial analyst Jeff Fidacaro told investors iPad shipping delays have been cut in half. Between early May and mid-August, Apple.com was listing shipment delays at 7-10 business days. That period is now just 3-5 days.
As a result, Fidarco upped his fourth-quarter build forecast to 7 million units, an increase from his previously projected 6 million tablets. Apple should ship 13.4 million iPads in 2010, the analyst adds.
What’s pushing the production increases? Along with the back-to-school and holiday purchases, AT&T is reporting great interest by businesses in using the iPad.
Another analyst writes you may see more iPads on the shelves of your local Best Buy. Barclays’ Ben Reitzes has seen “strong” improvement in iPads at the electronic stores over the past two weeks. The 16GB iPad went from 0 percent Best Buy availability Aug. 2 to between 28 and 50 percent availability Aug. 16, depending on whether you wanted a Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and 3G version.