updated 10:55 am EDT, Thu April 14, 2011
Number exceeds many analyst forecasts
Apple could sell anywhere between 40 and 45 million iPads during 2011, sources with Asian component suppliers say. The information comes from a continuing tour of China and Taiwan by Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. He comments that similar figures were mentioned during an Asian visit last fall, but that "at the time, this number was difficult for many investors and some in the media to get their heads around."
While other industry sources have hinted at sales up to 40 million, the new figures are well beyond what most financial firms are predicting. RBC Capital has called for 28 million units, for example, while Needham is expecting 30 million. White himself is only anticipating 30.9 million.
Supporting the possibility of going higher is Apple's track record and present distribution plans. The company sold approximately 15 million iPads last year, despite only having the product on the market for about nine months. 2011 will mark the first full year of availability, and Apple is working to get the tablet to more countries faster. On March 25th the company brought the iPad 2 to over two dozen regions, just two weeks after its initially US-only debut.