Apple iPad shipments to hit 12.9 million in 2010 and 50 million by 2012

Analysts iSuppli predicts Apple will ship 12.9 million iPads in 2010, but their figures for 2011 and 2012 are looking stratospheric.

Analysts iSuppli have revised their iPad shipment figures quite significantly, instead of their April predictions of shipments of 7.1 million they now predict end of year sales to be nearer 13 million units, but that’s nothing to what they predict for 2011 and 2012. If Apple carry on selling iPads at their current rate iSuppli predict sales will rise to 36.5 million in 2011 and 50.4 million in 2012. And the only thing stopping them hitting the targets according to iSuppli is supplies of parts needed to build the iPad rather than customer demand.

“iSuppli believes that the only limitation on iPad sales now is production—and not demand,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli. “Apple has taken a very controlled approach introducing this product to new markets, with manufacturing limitations likely being the major inhibitor on how quickly iPad sales expand.”

“Apple has hiked its iPad manufacturing goals to suppliers across Asia. As iSuppli stated in its initial forecast, the key to continuing success will be how quickly Apple responds to issues as they arise and whether the company can align suppliers to meet demand needs. Apple’s acceleration of its component demand indicates that the company has raised its iPad production target for 2010. Our latest research indicates there is much higher production than previously expected for two key components: LCD panels and NAND flash.” Alexander said.

iSuppli’s original iPad forecast was by far the most aggressive outlook for the product among industry analysis and market research firms issuing outlooks in April, but subsequent events have shown iSuppli’s predictions to be true. Additionally iSuppli think that Apple will dominate the tablet/pad/slate market, they currently have nearly 84% share in 2010, and they expect the iPad to dominate at least through 2012.

iSuppli’s believes that Apple can hit the new unit sales figure within the 19 countries it has already announced for 2010 distribution.

iSuppli also have a few predictions for what iPad v2 will be, which they predict will hit the market in April 2011. Likely additional changes will embrace an internal camera and expansion of the product line, potentially including additional screen sizes.