Display Panel Shipment Plans Suggest Apple Will Offer iPad 2 Alongside iPad 3

The question of whether Apple will continue to offer the existing iPad 2 as a lower-cost option alongside the forthcoming iPad 3 has been the subject of a fair amount of rumor and speculation, but if new display panel shipment plans provided to Digitimes are correct, it appears that the iPad 2 will indeed live on.

ipad 2 oblique
According to the report, production of the "Retina" resolution iPad 3 display panels at 2048x1536 pixels will surpass that of the lower-resolution 1024x768 iPad 2 panels by the second quarter of this year, but Apple's suppliers will still push out approximately 25 million iPad 2 panels in 2012. That will be down from an estimated 48 million panels in 2011, but still a substantial number. Sources suggest that Apple's suppliers will also be pushing out approximately 40 million iPad 3 panels this year for a total of 65 million iPads between the two models.

With fewer than one million panels shipped in the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple will keep increasing the shipment volume of panels for use in the new version of iPad to 6.0-7.0 million panels in the first quarter and 10.0 million units in the third quarter of 2012, the sources pointed out.

In the meantime, Apple has downwardly adjusted shipments of iPad 2 panels from the peak of 16.0 million panels in the third quarter to 10.0 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 and further to 7.0-8.0 million units in the first quarter of 2012, the sources indicated. Thus, the shipment volume of panels for use in the new version of iPad will surpass that of iPad 2 panels in the second quarter of 2012, the sources noted.

Digitimes has had a spotty record regarding Apple's product plans, but it does sometimes offer at least reasonably accurate information on production volumes from the company's supply chain. Consequently, it does seem likely that any volume of iPad 2 display panels approaching the rumored number would be indicative of continued iPad 2 production well beyond the introduction of the iPad 3.

Several reports have indicated that the iPad 2 will carry on at a lower entry price of $399 or perhaps even lower, a move rumored to be planned in part to counter Amazon's smaller Android-based Kindle Fire priced at $199. The iPad 3 is said to be set for a March debut and will reportedly offer LTE connectivity, a quad-core processor, and the high-resolution Retina display.

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Top Rated Comments

chirpie Avatar
161 months ago


If they don't get the price below 199 I'll have to go go with the kindle. It doesn't have that excessively big screen, that privacy invading camera, and it has that fragmented app store with only the apps I really need. Less clutter. Apple, step up your game.

Privacy invading camera? What on earth are you going on about?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GSPice Avatar
161 months ago


If they don't get the price below 199 I'll have to go go with the kindle. It doesn't have that excessively big screen, that privacy invading camera, and it has that fragmented app store with only the apps I really need. Less clutter. Apple, step up your game.

And in other news, tin foil hats are still in vogue..
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
161 months ago
Given Apple's success at selling 3 different iPhone models at once this doesn't surprise me. I'm sure they'd love the same kind of multi-year success with the iPad.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ELMI0001 Avatar
161 months ago


If they don't get the price below 199 I'll have to go go with the kindle.

Think of the people flooding their local Apple stores or calling Apple because of a $300 price drop! This dude is crazy. Go buy your Kindle and report back to us.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
charlituna Avatar
161 months ago
Digitimes lack of reliability is so high that they are a total joke. Their information is totally suspect as is their analysis.

Assuming those numbers are anything close to true there are two possibilities.

1. Some model(s) of the iPad 2 will still be offered after the iPad 3 launches. it could be the 16GB only. It could be the wifis with the iPad 3 not having a wifi only option. It could be an 8gb model sold only on the education store. and so on

2. the iPad 3 will be launching later in the year with no iPad 2 models staying in production and these panels are for sales until that later launch date.

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If they don't get the price below 199 I'll have to go go with the kindle.
It is extremely unlikely that the iPad will ever go that low even on a refurb clearance so you can go order that kindle now and enjoy.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
161 months ago
It's Amazing how Apple's trained its customers to pay a premium. But the point is that the competition is at $200, and especially in this economy if enough people buy from Amazon, it gives them a beachhead into Apple's market. Regardless of features, which don't always mean as much to the average consumer, Apple has to compete on price.
We have been "especially in this economy" for the last ten years, and Apple didn't care so far and doing reasonably well, or so I hear. Amazon has a product that is worth less than half of Apple's product for less than half the price. Dooh. There's a market for people who want a device for reading books, and nothing else. Just like Apple is serving the market for people who want a device for listening to music and audio books, and nothing else. The iPad is a completely different market, and Amazon doesn't touch it.

Now there are always people who are tempted when they see "I only want X, and I can get it for $Y, but for only $Z more I can get all this other stuff", even if right now all that other stuff is not essential to them. An iPad 2 at slightly reduced price will tempt quite a few of those away from Amazon.


Seems like a win win
I know a ton of people who wish they had a iPad2, but just couldn't afford it.
Frankly, if you can't _afford_ an iPad 2, then you shouldn't be buying a Kindle for $200 either. If you wanted one but couldn't justify the cost to yourself, that is a different matter.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)