Apple is reportedly gearing up its supply chain for the production of six million iPad devices per month, beginning early next year, according to sources cited by DigiTimes on Thursday. The iPad maker has added two additional touch-panel manufacturers to its list of suppliers, industry sources told the Taiwan-based newspaper.
Some industry observers see the unconfirmed report as a sign that Apple may introduce a new iPad model as soon as January or February. However, six million units per month would be more than three times Piper Jaffray’s forecast of 5.5 million iPad shipments in the entire fourth quarter of 2010.
Piper Jaffray forecasts that Apple will sell 13 million iPads in all of 2010 and estimates 79 percent year-over-year growth to 23.3 million units in 2011. Though Apple sells products such as Mac computers and iPods in more than 160 countries worldwide, the iPad is currently only available in 30, they noted. "We believe that Apple will eventually sell at least the Wi-Fi-only iPad in all 160+ countries," Munster, Olson and Murphy wrote.