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Despite iPhone issues, life is good for Apple, thanks to the best-selling iPad

In response to record demand for the Apple iPad, Apple, Inc. is stepping up its production efforts.  As of last month the Cupertino giant topped 3 million units sold worldwide.

Apple originally set a goal of reaching production of 2.5 million units a month to be reached by December, but it now appears that it may hit that number well ahead of schedule, in response to high demand.

According to Digitimes Research:
Apple is estimated to have outsourced 2.3-2.35 million iPads to Taiwan players in July with 58-60% for the Wi-Fi and 3G hybrid model despite Wi-Fi only models having stronger sales in the first half of 2010, Kuo noted.
That's up greatly from the 1.2 million units that Digitimes Research estimated in June.  And it's way above the 700,000 units that the iPad began shipping per month at launch in April (U.S.).

The move indicates two things -- first that Apple plans on selling a lot more iPads, and second that it's trying to push the public to make those sales of the more lucrative 3G-ready iPad (a move its U.S. carrier AT&T is surely excited about).

The wildest analyst estimates pegged the iPad at selling 8 million units this year.  If Apple can continue to quickly ramp up production, though, it stands to sell as many as 16-18 million units this year.  We'd be conservative, bumping our previous estimate to 15 million units for the year.

This terrific sales success is great news for Apple on a number of levels.  First, it establishes the company as the top player in a promising emerging market.  Second it should lead to a "halo effect" boosting sales of other Apple products.  And finally, it should help Apple to overcome the negative publicity of the numerous issues that the iPhone 4 suffered -- including signal woes, proximity sensor malfunctions, and not fully cured sealants.

Later this month the iPad will come to more countries overseas, including Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore, which should help to continue to stoke the sales flame.




"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad



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