Apple to ship 12.9 million iPads in 2010?

Apple iPad

Apple could ship up to 12.9 million iPads this year alone according to market research firm iSuppli. Earlier forecasts had suggested shipments of 7.1 million units. Just yesterday, Apple revealed that it had already sold 3.27 million iPads in its fiscal third quarter alone.

iSuppli expects that Apple will not be able to keep up with demand for the remainder of the year.

“The iPad is shaping up to be the ‘Tickle Me Elmo’ of the 2010 holiday season, with product demand expected to vastly exceed available supply,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli. “Apple has hiked its iPad manufacturing goals to suppliers across Asia.”

Apple will dominate the tablet market this year with an 84 percent market share. Not bad for a product about three months old! Competition from Android and webOS tablets is not expected to materialize until the end of the year or early next year, practically assuring that it will remain the dominant player into 2012.

iSuppli forecasts for 2011 and 2012 don’t look too bad for Apple either. iSuppli expects that Apple will ship 36.5 million iPads in 2011 and another 50.4 million in 2012 (likely with at least one product refresh introducing new features and new screen sizes).

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