According to Digitimes, Apple shipped between 2.4 and 2.6 million iPads during the month of March. Shipments are set to nearly double during the second quarter, according to a conservative estimate by a source:

Sales of iPad 2 are running at a rate faster than its predecessor, and Apple took delivery of 2.4-2.6 million units in March. Apple is likely to take delivery of 4-4.3 million units a month, or a total of over 12 million units, of iPad 2 tablets in the second quarter, said the sources.

In other words, at a monthly rate of more than four million units iPad 2 could sell far better than its predecessor which took nine months to sell 15 million units. The latest figure compares to the Motorola Xoom sales Deutsche Bank pegged at just a hundred thousand units. A steady stream of components will be needed to meet the iPad 2 targets. Asian suppliers are already boosting their production output to meet orders from Apple, Digitimes wrote…

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A lot of components go into each iPad 2 and with the crisis in Japan you’d think a steady supply of NAND flash, the A5 processors or touch panels is needed to keep feeding the market. Not so fast – a sufficient supply of cover lenses for touch panel modules will be the key to reach Apple’s Q2 shipment goals, explains the publication.

TPK Touch Solutions, G-Tech Optoelectronics, HannStar Display, Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), Wintek and other touch panel makers are all expanding or looking to expand their manufacturing capacities in the wake of strong iPad 2 sales.

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