NPD questions if iPad shipments will topple 100M next year

Apple could set a record for tablet shipments next year thanks to demand for the iPad mini.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Apple might possibly ship more than 100 million iPads in 2013, according to a new memo from NPD DisplaySearch analysts.

In a blog post this week, David Hsieh, vice president of the global display market research firm, addressed both supply shortages for the iPad mini as well as the continued success of the iPad 2.

According to the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Large Area TFT Panel Shipment Report, panel makers such as Samsung, LG Display, Sharp and Innolux are estimated to have shipped approximately 70 million 9.7-inch iPad panels in 2012.

Of those, 23 million are said to have been iPad 2 XGA panels while 47 million were newer-generation iPad QXGA panels, using both a-Si and oxide TFT technologies.

While the new iPad was originally planned to replace the iPad 2, NPD analysts asserted that strong sales of the second generation model have held up. Thus, manufacturers adjusted panel production for the newer iPads downward while maintaining production of iPad 2 displays.

As for the iPad mini, a recent report from another analyst at a different firm argued that the petite iOS tablet is doing so well that it is "cannibalizing" sales for other versions of the brand.

Hsieh predicted in his memo that Apple will need to adjust its plans for the iPad portfolio overall to meet this stronger demand for the iPad mini.

We believe that Apple is targeting total iPad shipments of 100 million in 2013, half accounted for by the iPad mini, and 40 million new iPad and 10 million iPad 2, as production continues at least until the middle of 2013. As our Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report forecasts the 2013 tablet PC market to be over 170 million, if Apple hits its targets it will continue its domination at approximately 60% market share.

Hsieh had a few suggestions for Apple, most of which pointed towards finding more panel suppliers. That's not only to meet demand now, but Hsieh added that it would be a good idea "in the event that it parts ways with Samsung."

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