updated 07:45 am EDT, Fri June 18, 2010
Apple gets Samsung help for iPad productions
Shipments of iPads have already accelerated to 1.2 million every month and have reached the point where Apple needs production help, tips from the industry clued on Friday. Apple had launched the iPad making 700,000 of the tablets per month but has had to boost production by more than two thirds to keep up with demand. Digitimes Research analyst Kuo Ming-Chi estimates Apple could scale to as many as 2.5 million iPads per month before the end of the year.
To handle the added workload, Samsung is reportedly coming onboard as a second display maker. LG Display is still making the majority of the screens and made an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 screens by itself last month, but Samsung will be tasked with making 300,000 to 500,000 of the 9.7-inch LCDs a month starting in July.
The stepped up production rate is likely necessary to address international expansion but also points to increasing demand in the US, which is still the single largest market for iPads. Even if end-of-year estimates are optimistic, the current production rate would have Apple easily eclipse predicted 2010 sales for tablets and could give the category a head start on overtaking netbooks within the next two to three years.