Respected analyst Ming Chi-Kuo from KGI Securities has this evening issued an investor note in which he predicts sales for Apple’s latest tablet, iPad Pro. Kuo predicts in his note that Apple will sell between 2.4 million and 2.6 million iPad Pro units in the fourth quarter of 2015. As we head into 2016, Kuo expects those numbers to slide slightly to between 2.1 million units and 2.3 million units.
The small decline in sales is to be expected as the Q4 is prime holiday shopping season in many countries and Apple is used to seeing inflated numbers during the quarter. Apple will officially report Q4 sales in January, although it’s unclear if it will breakdown iPad Pro numbers specifically.
Also of note, Kuo shares that TSMC is the sole provider of the new A9x chip found in the iPad Pro. When the iPhone 6s launched, there was controversy surrounding reports that the TSMC A9 chip outperformed the Samsung version in battery tests. While that likely had little bearing on Apple’s decision to make TSMC the sole A9x provider, it reaffirms the fact that all iPad Pros should perform similarly in battery tests.
Samsung will, however, help Apple produce the display panel found in the iPad Pro. While Sharp is the main supplier of the panel, Samsung will help Apple keep up with demand as Sharp suffers from production issues.
Furthermore, Kuo notes of the supply issues plaguing the Apple Pencil accessory. Kuo simply states that production “isn’t going smoothly” due to the complex assembly process of the accessory. Kuo believes that the supply issues plaguing the Pencil are also having somewhat of a negative effect on iPad Pro sales as a whole.
iPad Pro launched last week in Apple retail stores and online. Early reviews of the device were mixed, with many reviewers skeptical about the device’s ability to replace a laptop due to software limitations imposed by iOS. Our own Jeremy Horwitz also noted of software constraints being the device’s primary issue.