Apple continues to face supply constraints with new iPad

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Due to overwhelming worldwide demand, customers hoping to buy a new iPad may see longer than usual wait times in some markets as Apple fights to ramp up supply.

Apple announced on Tuesday that 11.8 million iPads were sold during the company's second fiscal quarter, representing a 151 percent increase from the 4.69 million sold a year ago. The revenue generated by the tablet and its accessories accounted for $6.6 billion.

“The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook during the company's earnings conference call.

The number missed analysts' estimates of 13 million units, though Cook said that the popularity of the new iPad put a strain on Apple's supply. In its first weekend of availability, which was over a month ago, the new iPad sold some 3 million copies as part of the company's fastest tablet rollout to date.

Due to the limited supply of new iPads and the lower-priced previous generation iPad 2, which Apple carried over from 2011 as a more economical entry-level device, no direct conclusion could be made as to the tablets' comparative demand.

“The new iPad was supply constrained last quarter for the full three weeks or so that it was shipping and it actually is still constrained, so mix of new iPad to the iPad 2 is not certain yet,” said CFO Peter Oppenheimer.

In any case, the adoption rate of both the new 16GB-only version of the iPad 2 and the third-generation iPad remains strong.

To date, the iPad has sold over 67 million units. Cook puts that number into perspective, saying that “it took us 24 years to sell that many Macs, five years for that many iPods, and 3 years for iPhones, and we we're extremely happy with the trajectory on all those products. I think the iPad, it’s a profound product, the breadth of it is incredible, the appeal of it is universal. I could not be happier with being in the market.”


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