Apple Can't Keep Up with iPad 2 Demand, iSuppli Cuts Shipment Forecast

Citing manufacturing issues at Apple that led to a shortfall of iPad shipments, market research firm IHS iSuppli reduced its shipment forecast for 2011 to 39.7 million units. That figure includes all iPad models and is down from iSuppli's February's forecast of 43.7 million units, a reduction of more than 9 percent (or 4 million units).

Before you go shedding a tear for Apple and wondering how Steve Jobs is going to feed his family, keep in mind that Apple's iPad tablet is moving extremely well. Though the 2011 forecast is down, total shipments for the year are on pace to rise an obscene 163.3 percent over 2010's shipment numbers.

This is simply a case where Apple is having trouble keeping up with demand, especially with the iPad 2. According to iSuppli, Apple's inability to fulfill first-quarter demand for its second generation tablet PC is indicative of manufacturing challenges. Citing un-named sources, iSuppli says these include quality concerns with the LCD panels, a shortage of speakers, lamination issues, and end-unit production shortfalls. However, things are looking up in the second quarter, even if Apple ultimately misses its shipment goal for April, which will likely be the case.

iSuppli went on to note that these challenges aren't related to the recent earthquakes in Japan, as Apple moved more aggressively than its competitors to mitigate any supply chain disruptions. In some instances, Apple even agreed to higher pricing to keep the flow of parts coming in.

Apple's online store currently quotes new iPad 2 orders taking 1-2 weeks to fulfill.
Tags:  Apple, tablet, slate, ipad, iPad 2