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New forecast predicts iPad 3 & overall tablet shipments for 1Q 2012

Posted at 21 February 2012 00:00 CEST by Justin_Massoud

The web has been pretty quiet with iPad 3 talk since insiders pegged its release for mid-March. Most are now just waiting for Apple to properly unveil the new iteration in its record-breaking tablet line. One big question among early adopters is: how many will there be at launch? New estimates from Taiwanese outlet Digitimes answers the question with a ballpark figure.

According to the news site, tablet makers will ship just under 15 million combined during 2012′s opening quarter – a 30 percent drop-off from last quarter. The figure will be comprised of 11 million iPads, along with 1.5 million Kindle Fires, 300,000 Nook Tablets and more than two million tablets from other manufacturers.

Apple alone sold 15.4 million iPads during the holiday shopping season.

Exactly how that 11 million will be split between the year-old iPad 2 and upcoming iPad 3 isn’t clear. The former moved more than one million units over its opening weekend and saw a weeks-long back-order queue. It’s equally unknown if Apple can meet the no doubt massive demand for its third tablet.

The Cupertino company stated that it moved a total of 4.69 million iPads during the opening quarter of 2011, but didn’t clarify how that number broke down between the two models.

Supply chain workers claimed last month that orders for the iPad 3′s 9.7-inch, 2048×1536 QXGA panels will reach between six to seven million this quarter, while a simultaneous decline in iPad 2 display orders will drop that model’s shipments considerably by this spring.

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