MANHASSET, N.Y. -- The iPad continues to dominate the tablet market, and at least one analyst forecasts the possibility of Apple shipping 100 million iPads in 2013.
IDavid Hsieh, vice president at NPD DisplaySearch, blogged: “In 2013, it is likely that Apple will adjust its product portfolio to meet the strong demand for the iPad mini. We believe that Apple is targeting total iPad shipments of 100 million in 2013, half accounted for by the iPad mini, and 40 million new iPad and 10 million iPad 2, as production continues at least until the middle of 2013.”
While the new iPad was originally planned to replace the iPad 2, strong sales of the legacy model have continued, and panel makers have adjusted new iPad panel production downward while maintaining production of iPad 2 panels.
The iPad mini was voted one of the hottest consumer products of 2012 in Japan, but immediately faced supply shortages for its 7.85” XGA display supplied by AUO and LG Display. Hsieh said Apple planned to sell 6 million units in 2012 but only 1.6 million panels shipped in Q3’12.
Apple is asking panel makers to ship more than 12 million unit in the fourth quarter to fulfill the strong demand, according to Hsieh.
The iPad panels need to operate at a high resolution and at low power consumption. That, together with the wide viewing angle and high color saturation specifications, requires as many as eight mask steps in the display manufacturing process, which translates to longer production times and lower yield rates.