Production and quality problems with parts leads to drop in estimated 2011 iPad 2 shipments
In the recently announced second quarter results, Apple announced it had shipped 4.69 million iPad 2 units, well short of the 6.2 million that analysts had estimated. The backlog has forced iSuppli to cut its 2011 number of Apple iPad 2 units expected to ship by 4 million tablets to a total of 39.7 million. The research firm also spoke with chain supply sources who revealed that Apple was having quality concerns with LCD panels, production shortages of the tablet's new speaker, and lamination issues with one of its touch panel suppliers. While things are picking up in terms of iPad 2 production, Apple is still expected to fall short of its goal for April.
The report from iSuppli says that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has not had much of an impact on Apple's ability to get parts as the latter has been paying more to vendors to make sure that the assembly line for the tablet keeps humming. In the current quarter, production of the Apple iPad 2 is expected to double from the previous quarter.
The good news is that iSuppli sees things clearing up next year when 62.6 million Apple iPad 2 tablets are forecast to be shipped, up from the research firm's original 61.6 estimate for 2012. And COO Cook says that 13 more countries will launch the device next week. He added, "Demand has been staggering, and I'm not going to predict when supply and demand will come into balance. I can only be confident on the supply side."