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Thursday, March 03, 2011, 09:30 pm PT (12:30 am ET)

Shipments of Apple's iPad 2 could reach 10-12M in Q2 2011

Apple's Taiwanese suppliers have indicated that production of iPad 2 models will reach three million units in the first quarter of 2011, before ramping up to 10-12 million units in the second quarter, a new report claims.

Asian component suppliers have told DigiTimes that shipments of the iPad 2 are expected to reach 2-3 million units in March, given that the company drew down production of the original iPad in February while simultaneously ramping up production of the iPad 2.

Though earlier reports had suggested that the March quarter would see production of as many as 2 million units of the iPad 2, the publication has now revised its estimates with an upper limit of 3 million units.

The second quarter of 2011 could see as many as 10-12 million iPad 2 units shipped, the report added. By way of comparison, Apple sold 15 million iPads from April to December 2010 for a total of $9.5 billion in revenue.

According to the report, Apple remains on track to hit its target of producing 40 million iPads in 2011.

The report assumes a shipment ratio of 4:6 for the first half and second half of the year, so the second half of 2011 could see iPad 2 shipments reach 21.5-25 million units.

Wall Street analyst sales expectations run lower than DigiTimes' 40 million unit production estimate. For example, Gleacher & Co. analyst Brian Marshall sees the iPad maker selling 30 million units in 2011, though he believes that to be a conservative estimate.

Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, formerly of DigiTimes, has estimated iPad shipments from Foxconn, the tablet's sole maker, will reach 4.5-5 million units in the first quarter of 2011.

For its part, Apple was confident enough in the iPad 2 to declare 2011 "The year of iPad 2" when it took the wraps off the device on Wednesday. The redesigned touchscreen tablet, which has a dual-core CPU, two cameras, and a thinner and lighter form factor, impressed analysts, prompting them to assert that Apple will continue to dominate the tablet market.