Monday, April 25, 2011

Apple may ship fewer iPad 2 this year

IHS ISuppli cut its forecast for iPad shipments this year by 9 per cent after Apple Inc failed to meet demand in the first quarter.

The electronics maker will probably ship 39.7 million iPad tablet computers this year, according to ISuppli, which made an estimate of 43.7 million in February. A shortfall in iPad 2 production during the first three months of 2011 prompted the cut, the El Segundo, California-based research company said today in a statement.

Apple, the largest technology company by market value, probably faced issues including quality concerns over liquid-crystal displays and shortages of speakers, which disrupted supply of the tablets, ISuppli said.

Problems during the quarter weren't related to the record March 11 earthquake that struck Japan, while quake-related component constraints may limit Apple's production in the second half, the researcher said.

Cupertino, California-based Apple appears to have moved more aggressively than peers to secure components after Japan's earthquake, leaving many competitors scrambling for needed components such as touch screens, ISuppli said.

Apple will likely maintain its dominance in the tablet market until 2012 because of advantages in marketing, content and pricing, the researcher said. Shipments of other media tablets will likely reach 111 million units in 2013, overtaking the estimated 81 million iPad sales, it said.