updated 07:00 pm EDT, Thu October 13, 2011
Susquehanna claims to know iPad 3 factory ramp
Susquehanna Financial analyst Chris Caso claimed on Thursday to have made checks indicating that iPad 3 production would start this year. Citing unnamed "checks," he understood it was "on the forecast" for a late fourth quarter start, or roughly in December. Initial numbers would be small and would range between 600,000 to one million.
The statements were a clarification of his earlier remarks, where he mentioned a similar time window but hadn't gone directly to sources or identified production volumes. Like some others, he rejected JP Morgan's early claims of dropping iPad production and said the trimmed production was part of a planned transition to the iPad 3, not a sign of fading interest in the iPad 2.
Production in December supports Apple's practice of the past two years of launching new iPads early into the year. It might also hint an earlier release than usual given talk of iPad 2 production having started early this year, just weeks before the unveiling, rather than late 2010. While unconfirmed, Apple might be keen to preempt any third-generation Galaxy Tabs and prevent Samsung from remaking its entire design before the iPad 3 is on store shelves.
Separately, Susquehanna's Jeff Fidacaro was boosting his iPhone estimates for both the summer results due next week and for the fall. He saw Apple having shipped 21.5 million iPhones this summer, an increase despite the expectation of a new model. Apple's million iPhone 4S preorders in one day also led him to believe Apple would ship 27.1 million of its smartphones in the fall.
Among iPads, he estimated 11.5 million had shipped in the summer and that another 13 million would deliver in the current season.