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Apple to sell 45m iPads in 2011?

After 16m in 2010, says component supplier

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Apple will sell more than twice as many iPads next year as it will in 2010, one market watcher has suggested.

Despite the arrival of Android 3.0 and a flood of tablets from rival manufacturers, Apple will ship 45m iPads in 2011, calculates Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. His number for 2010, relayed by Forbes magazine, is 16m units.

White's numbers come from an Asian supplier of iPad components. He doesn't say which part, but notes that only one is used per device, so possibly the screen. Whatever it is, the mole said his company sent Apple 6m of them in Q3 and will send 7m more in Q4. Add in the 3m Apple is believed to have sold through to the end of Q2 and you have approximately 16m iPads out there by the end of the year.

White himself is more sober, suggesting almost 22m iPads will be sold next year, up from 12m or so in 2010. As Forbes notes, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster - usually very bullish where Apple is concerned - only reckons 21m iPads will be sold in 2011.

White's mole claims the next iPad will sport a 7in screen, have a hi-res display like the iPhone 4's, a camera, a mini or micro USB port and 128GB of storage. All of these could be educated guesses rather than data from someone in the know.

But he also says the refresh will come in Q1, ahead of the iPad's first anniversary. ®

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