updated 11:45 am EST, Fri November 19, 2010
First-gen iPad production to stop in January?
Apple has escalated its iPad production plans for the fourth quarter of 2010, according to RBC Capital Markets' Mike Abramsky. The analyst suggests that this means Apple is expecting large holiday sales, in spite of new competition from Android tablets, and the risk of the upgraded MacBook Air cannibalizing some units. Abramsky estimates that Apple will build about 40 million iPads in total during 2011.
Production of the current-generation iPad is expected to stop in January, however, in order to switch over to a second-generation model. Abramsky argues that the new tablet will debut in February or March, and have front- and rear-facing cameras well as upgraded internal hardware. A Wedge Partners analyst, Brian Blair, has suggested that 3G versions could use dual-mode HSPA/EVDO receivers.
Rollout estimates for a CDMA, Verizon-capable iPhone, widely anticipated to launch next year, have meanwhile been "adjusted to a more realistic forecast," according to Abramsky. The analyst is now calling for 20 million in upcoming sales instead of 30 million. AppleInsider remarks that Abramsky has changed his tone in recent months, having once argued that Apple and Verizon have fundamentally conflicting business interests, such as the iPhone's priority next to Android devices.