Apple has sold approximately 3.3 million iPads since it began selling the tablet in early April. Today, Apple began selling the iPad in nine additional countries, which makes Apple’s device available now in a total of 19 countries.
Needless to say, the demand for the iPad has been outrageous. So it should be to no one’s surprise why Apple has been struggling to get new iPads on store shelves over the past couple of months.
Apple may not be surprised by the iPad’s success. After all, the company has a tremendous ability to create new markets, nurture them, and launch exciting products for the consumer segment. But, you can bet Apple’s manufacturers never expected to struggle to keep up with the iPad’s demand.
South Korean manufacturer, LG Display Co., which specializes in the production of liquid crystal displays, has basically come out and waived the white-flag. They have announced that the company simply cannot meet the growing demand for iPads. Keep in mind that LG is a major supplier of flat screens used in iPads and iPhones.
“Apple is ordering more and more displays but it isn’t something we can be able to respond quickly,” LG’s Chief Executive Kwon Young-soo said. “I am not sure whether we can be able to meet orders from other companies for similar products, but we will be able to supply the displays without fail… by the second quarter of next year.” In other words, LG’s best answer to the challenge is that they hope to to get back on course by the second quarter of 2011.
Even though LG is not the sole supplier of liquid crystal displays for Apple, it definitely plays a big role in the production and availability of Apple’s new toy around the globe. There is no doubt that shortages have frustrated consumers, and perhaps disrupted some business for Apple as they continue to offer the iPad across many countries.
Over the last month I have received numerous calls from friends and family overseas asking for help finding iPad inventory. Many have asked me to help buy iPads in U.S. and ship them overseas.
We certainly hope component shortages get resolved quickly. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. But, one thing is for sure. The only limitation on iPad sales is certainly production and not demand!