With queues still forming at 4 AM at some Apple stores, and whole countries selling out completely, demand for the iPad 2 is so high that Apple suppliers are ramping up production of its various components.
AppleInsider reports that Samsung is hiring 300 new engineers for a semiconductor plant in Austin, Texas, and AU Optronics has an order to make flat panel screens (although this has not yet been confirmed). With earlier stories about other suppliers being taken on to make Apple’s A5 processor and touch sensors, it does seem as if Apple is indeed ramping up production. Analyst Charlie Wolf with Needham & Company predicts Apple will make 30 million iPads this year and 40 million in 2012.
Samsung alone will make something like US$7.8 billion worth of components for Apple next year, and others are looking for a share of Apple’s business. With a new iPhone model expected later this year, this doesn’t look like a process that’s going to slow down any time soon.