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45 Million iPads Expected to Sell in 2011

CUPERTINO, CALIF.: Apple is looking to sell 45 million iPads next year, each a potential Mobile DTV receiver. Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities issued a note Oct. 6 saying Apple was in talks with overseas component makers about gearing up for 2011 sales, Elizabeth Woyke at Forbes said. White’s note said a source at one supplier reported shipping 6 million iPad parts in the third quarter and expects to ship 7 million during the fourth.

Apple hasn’t released iPad sales figures since it said 3.27 million sold within three months of introduction in April. Fiscal fourth-quarter results are scheduled to be released Wednesday. Projections vary regarding how many sold during F4Q10, but Fortune compiled a list of analysts who expect the number to be from 3.8 million to 6 million. Fortune said the consensus would put total sales so far at around 8.25 million.

Total fiscal 2011 iPad sales are likely to start out strong, given the period comprises the holiday season. iPad availability is also about to increase dramatically. An image of iPad in a purported Walmart Apple display is posted at Wired. Reports that Walmart would sell the tablet computer some time this year have circulated for months. A Walmart executive told Bloomberg in May that the retail chain expected to have iPads before the end of the year. They’re also available online, in Apple stores, from Best Buy and at Target stores.

Apple is also reported to be making a smaller version of the iPad for an early 2011 launch. The second-generation device is said to have a 7-inch screen versus the nearly 10-inch display of the inaugural model. DigiTimes Systems said in August that the 7-inch iPad would have 1024 x 768-pixel resolution and sport a new and more efficient ARM processor. Ticonderoga’s White says the new iPad will have 128 GB of memory, twice that of most robust current model.

iPad sales potentially have implications for Mobile DTV, the over-the-air service broadcasters expect formally to launch next year. iPads do not yet have integrated Mobile DTV reception, but Valups of Seoul, South Korea, makes a peripheral receiver for Apple iDevices, including the iPad. The Valups Tivizen was announced in April for a May launch, but shipping was delayed because of a regulatory hurdle.

The receiver is around the size of a deck of cards, and was announced at a suggested retail price of $149. (See the Brazilian version here.) The software app for the U.S.-compatible device is already available from iTunes. The hardware is due to start shipping “very soon,” according to a source familiar with the company.

If so, iPhones, iPods and iPads would be among the first commercially available Mobile DTV receivers in the United States. Samsung, LG and Dell supplied prototype receivers for a Mobile DTV showcase held in Washington, D.C. over the last six months. Only the LG receiver is available at retail, having just been listed on Amazon for $249.95. A Mobile DTV car receiver with analog output, made by Shenzhen Leading Advance Electronics, is being offered online for $85.

TV set maker Vizio recently announced it would roll out a 9-inch Mobile DTV receiver in January, but did not provide pricing. Israeli chip maker Siano increased options for device makers with the introduction of a Mobile DTV receiver chip earlier this month.
-- Deborah D. McAdams