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iSuppli says Apple will ship 43.7 million iPads in 2011

iPad shipments jumped to 4.19 million in Apple’s just-gone quarter, somewhat under some expectations of 5 million or more sales, but well in line with what you’d expect from a hit product that’s already being more widely purchased than any previous new consumwer electronics category. The good news is Apple could sell more, if only manufacturing could keep up…

iSuppli this morning raised its outlook for iPad sales this year to 13.8 million, up from July expectations of 12.9 million, citing indications of improved component supply.

“In its previous iPad forecasts, iSuppli noted that the only constraint on shipment growth now is production and not demand,” said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli.

“The only factor limiting production is the availability of key iPad components, such as the field fringe switching (FFS) LCD panels, projected capacitive touch screens and NAND flash. Despite ongoing yield issues, Apple’s suppliers have steadily increased monthly production to meet Apple’s demand. Production rates are now on target to meet the expected strong fourth-quarter sales.”

iSuppli anticipates iPad production will reach or exceed 2.5 million units per month by the end of the year, and anticipates 43.7 million iPads will ship next year, increasing to 63.3 million units in July.

The analysts also point to Apple’s recent move to widen its supply chain by getting the device inside mass market retailers. 2011 is also likely to see Apple make a push for iPad sales in the education markets, the analysts said.

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