Research firm iSuppli has upped its predictions for iPad shipments in 2010, and now reckons that Apple will sell just under 13 million units.
ISuppli had predicted previously that Apple would sell 7.1 million iPads this year, but has increased this to 12.9 million.
Apple announced its financial results yesterday, claiming that the iPad has now reached sales of 3.27 million.
Sales will continue to increase over the coming years, iSuppli said, and will reach 36.5 million by 2011 and 50.4 million by 2012.
"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 at iSuppli, in the firm's Emerging Display Technologies Q2 2010 Special Report.
Alexander added that the iPad shipments will have a positive impact on the components industry, some areas of which will benefit from inclusion in the device.
"Apple's acceleration of its component demand indicates that the company has raised its iPad production target for 2010," she said. "Our latest research indicates much higher production than previously expected for two key components: LCD panels and Nand Flash."
However, Apple's big task will be keeping up with demand, according to the analyst. As Apple launches in more markets, the company will have to manage its supplier relations, and ensure that products are ready for inclusion.
"ISuppli believes that the only limitation on iPad sales now is production, not demand," said Alexander.
"Apple has taken a very controlled approach introducing this product to new markets, with manufacturing limitations likely to be the major inhibitor on how quickly iPad sales expand."
The iPad is now available in 19 countries, but the addition of new territories will increase demand. Meanwhile, iSuppli is predicting a feature update early next year as Apple looks to tempt more users.
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