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Apple increases iPad orders, decreases CDMA iPhone build plans - report


Apple will build more iPads than expected at the end of 2010, but the company has also slightly reduced its 2011 CDMA Verizon-compatible iPhone build plans, according to one Wall Street analyst.

Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets said in a note to investors Friday that Apple has made slight upward revisions to its iPad build plan for the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010. Apple also reportedly plans to build the same number of iPads in calendar year 2011, at 40 million.

Abramsky noted that both numbers remain above Wall Street expectations. He said that Apple's increase for the end of 2010 suggests that the company expects strong holiday sales, despite concerns over new Android-based tablets and potential cannibalization from the thin-and-light MacBook Air.

Though Abramsky's number is apparently higher than Wall Street expects, some see iPad sales in 2011 reaching even greater heights. Earlier this month, Brian Blair with Wedge Partners said he expects Apple to produce 48 million iPads next year.

The current iPad is expected to cease production in January, Abramsky said, when production of the new hardware will begin. Abramsky expects the second-generation iPad to debut between February and March with FaceTime front- and rear-facing cameras, as well as "beefed up" internal components.

As for the CDMA Verizon-compatible iPhone expected to launch in early 2011, he said the numbers have been "adjusted to a more realistic forecast." With the alleged reduced build plans, he expects 20 million sales, down from 30 million.

Abramsky's comments on a Verizon iPhone are noteworthy because as recently as September he said that a deal with Apple "may not ever get resolved," because the companies have different business interests. He said Apple may not want to be a "second banana" to Android at Verizon, while the arrival of the iPhone could hurt Verizon's investment in Android.