Apple's iPad 2 is selling at a healthy clip, according to an April 6 report in DigiTimes.
"Sales of iPad 2 are running at a rate faster than its predecessor, and Apple took delivery of 2.4 to 2.6 million units in March," the publication stated, citing unnamed sources. "Based on a conservative estimate, Apple is likely to take delivery of 4 to 4.3 million units a month."
Apparently, that would total around 12 million iPad 2 units shipped in the second quarter. Such numbers would pressure Apple's suppliers to produce enough components to meet that demand for finished tablets.
Apple has not released any official numbers related to iPad 2 shipments or sales, although some analysts believe the tablet moved between 500,000 and 600,000 units during its first weekend of U.S. release in March. In a March 8 research note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted that the iPad 2 would sell 1 million units faster than its first-generation predecessor, which took 28 days to reach that particular mark.
As demonstrated by March's CTIA conference in Orlando, Fla., though, Apple faces growing competition on a number of fronts. Many of the iPad 2's newest rivals, manufactured by companies such as Samsung and Motorola, come equipped with the new tablet-optimized Google Android 3.0 (code-named "Honeycomb"), paired with muscular dual-core processors and other high-end hardware.
While DigiTimes is a widely circulated source of Apple news, its predictions sometimes fail to pan out. For example, a Jan. 20 story suggested that the iPad 2 would boast a 2048 x 1536 resolution, which in turn would play into Apple's larger plans for its ecosystem. "The larger resolution should provide the company's app developers more convenience," it read, "while all future applications will be able to run under any of Apple's machines including the 27-inch iMac."
The iPad 2's actual 1024 x 768 resolution undermined that prediction, although analysts such as IDC research manager Tom Mainelli subsequently suggested that a higher-definition "Retina Display" screen could make an appearance in a future iPad.
That being said, DigiTimes wasn't alone in its fevered iPad 2 speculation. In the weeks leading up to the device's release, other blogs and online news sources suggested it would feature everything from a touch-sensitive outer casing to radically boosted memory. Such speculation, spreading like proverbial wildfire across the Web, essentially gives Apple millions of dollars in free publicity; that's all the more reason for it to stay silent heading into the unveiling of each new product.
However, Apple also isn't shy about sharing sales numbers for blockbuster devices. If the iPad 2 is indeed selling in record amounts, it's likely the company will post some numbers about it soon.