iPad 3 display shipments may top 7m by launch, 10m after

iPad 3 LCDs may overtake iPad 2 in spring

Shipments of the rumored 2048x1536 display behind the upcoming next-generation iPad may quickly overtake, but not completely replace, the iPad 2 based on purported new leaks. Having shipped just one million in the fall in its early ramp-up, Apple was claimed by Digitimes to be scaling up to as much as eight million in the first three months of 2012. By the summer, Apple would be up to 10 million for the third-generation model.

iPad 2 shipments were winding down but, unlike last year, would keep the previous generation around and support talk of a price-cut iPad 2. It will have dropped from 10 million to no more than eight million of the iPad 2's display this winter, drawing even before the iPad 3 pulls ahead.

In total, the insiders anticipated Apple seeing a significant but not dramatic growth in the number of tablets it ships. The iPad 2 would dip from 48 million in all of 2011 to 25 million in 2012, but the addition of the iPad 3 would add another 40 million and see Apple's overall iPad deliveries climb 35 percent.

Production rumors of the sort are difficult to corroborate and can change even if they were accurate originally. They do line up with earlier discussions, however, and could have Apple readying as many as nine million iPad 3 units just for the presumed launch in March. Such levels would also dispute suspicions that the 2048x1536 display would be too difficult to make in very large numbers.

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