SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple Inc. is ramping up production of its iPad computers and by this summer could be making more than 2.5 million of them each month to support the device's international launch and back-to-school shopping, an analyst said Tuesday.
Sterne, Agee & Leach analyst Vijay Rakesh wrote in a note to clients that the firm's checks with memory-chip makers indicate that Apple could double its iPad production between the June and September quarters to meet robust demand.
He said iPad production is currently running around 1 million to 1.5 million units a month. That could double to more than 2.5 million units a month in the September quarter, Rakesh wrote.
"We believe most of the manufacturing bottlenecks are now solved in the iPad supply chain even though memory continues to be a constraint," he said.
Apple's iPad will be available in nine more countries, including Germany and the U.K., starting Friday. Apple last month delayed the international launch of the device, saying sales in the U.S. were unexpectedly strong. The iPad went on sale in the U.S. in April and has sold more than a million units since.
The iPad is now going to Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland.
Apple has said it plans to release the iPad in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore in July.
Apple shares fell $3.58 to $243.18 in afternoon trading as the broader markets slumped.