Apple has ordered between 6 and 7 million display panels for the first quarter launch of the iPad 3, according to a DigiTimes report this morning. The orders of the iPad 3 panels will increase to 10 million by the third quarter. At the same time, Apple will reduce the number of orders for the display panels in the iPad 2. The older iPad will continue to be produced, however, throughout 2012, according to DigiTimes’s sources.
There have been rumors for some time that Apple would keep the iPad 2 around at a reduced price to appeal to a broader spectrum of would-be tablet users. The traditional price point of the iPad makes it cost-prohibitive to many, who opt instead for less expensive Android-based competitors. Reducing the iPad 2’s cost upon launch of the iPad 3 would be a way to target those consumers directly.
If the report about the first quarter order of iPad 3 displays is correct, then Apple is apparently anticipating higher demand for the iPad 3 than we saw with the iPad 2. The initial production run for the iPad 2 was 5 million units. Demand for the iPad 2 was high enough that the tablet was scarce for the first few weeks after launch. The iPad 3 is likely to see a similar level of demand, if not greater. An extra 1-2 million units in the initial production run of the tablet will hopefully avoid some of the supply issues that plagued many who wanted to buy the iPad 2 last year.[Source: DigiTimes]