The shipping delays we’ve reported on for the past few weeks seem to be working themselves out. The Apple Store is now telling iPad customers their tablets will ship within 24 hours of purchase. Earlier this month, analysts told investors iPad shipping had dropped to 3-5 days from a 7-10 day delay in early August.
The improved shipping schedule seems to indicate Apple is catching-up with iPad demand which the Cupertino, Calif. company acknowledged caught them off guard. The drop in shipping time also comes as Apple prepares for continued back-to-school sales, as well as the all-important holiday buying season.
Because of the brighter outlook for fewer delays, Susquehanna Financial analyst Jeff Fidacaro upped his estimates for the number of iPads Apple will build in the fourth quarter to 7 million, up from six million. With Apple expected to sell 5 million to 6 million iPads this quarter, the analyst forecasts the company will ship 13.4 million tablets in 2010.
As for the reason for the shorter delays, one suspected cause is a streamline of LG’s assembly lines. LG is the main supplier for the iPad’s displays. In an another attempt to boost production, Apple recently inked a $240 million deal with Samsung to provide 3 million additional displays.