updated 08:45 am EDT, Tue July 5, 2011
About 5 million iPad 2 touch panels due in July
Apple may be planning a larger production ramp than first thought for the iPad 2 this summer. Part supplier leaks Tuesday have the company's combined partners shipping five million touch panels just in July. Digitimes' sources said that Apple had also moved five million in June, making it likely the company is shipping as many or more during the holidays.
Production might be disrupted if rumors of an iPad 3 by October are true. The upgrade could see Apple phase out iPad 2 production as it transitions over to its replacement.
Several companies are involved in meeting the large demands. TPK and Wintek handle the largest parts and last month shipped 1.4 million to 1.6 million, according to the tips. Cando, Chimei Innolux, and Sintek Photronic handled the rest.
If accurate, the production estimate could see Apple further out in front of the market than first thought. Its next-closest competitor, Acer, may ship 800,000 Iconia Tabs all summer, or five percent of the iPad's tally if Apple makes 15 million iPads during the same season. RIM at one point had imagined itself selling as many as 2.4 million BlackBerry PlayBooks but has since cut its estimates to a third, to about Acer's level, after it didn't get the massive adoption it had assumed would come with its name.