Production issues hit iPad 2 shipments
IHS iSuppli now forecasts Apple will ship 39.7 million units for all models of the iPad this year, down 9.1 percent from the February forecast of 43.7 million. Based on IHS iSuppli’s final estimate of 15.1 million units shipped in 2010, IHS iSuppli now predicts total iPad shipments will rise 163.3 percent in 2011, down from the 189.6 percent predicted in February.
The firm has slightly increased its 2012 forecast for iPad shipments, to 62.6 million units, up from the previous forecast of 61.6 million.
Apple Wednesday posted first quarter results that beat consensus analysts’ expectations and said it sold a record number of iPhones during the quarter. But the company reported selling fewer iPads than analysts expected
Apple’s first-quarter manufacturing challenges are unrelated to the Japan earthquake. ”IHS iSuppli sources indicate that Apple’s production was stymied by manufacturing difficulties, which—combined with strong demand—led to short supplies of the popular tablet,” according to the firm. ”Those issues, according to the sources, included quality concerns with liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, production shortages of the new speaker, lamination issues with one of the touch suppliers and end-unit production shortfalls.”
As a result, Apple is still falling substantially short of its target production goal for April, according to the firm.
Demand for the iPad 2 has outstripped supply, with the initial release limited to the North American market. Android-based tablet sales are slowly gaining momentum, but products released in the first quarter of 2011 continue to fall short of reviewers’ expectations.
“Content represents Apple’s most significant competitive advantage in the tablet market,” Alexander said. “Application development is accelerating for the Android market but still lags far behind Apple. Furthermore, the kind of seamless access to movies, music and other content that Apple can provide is still not in place for the competition.”