It seems people are getting addicted to apples like never before. A cool 3.3 million units of Apple‘s magical device – the iPad – have flown off shelves since it was launched in April and yet people haven’t had enough of it. Demand for the iPad in countries where it has been made available continues to be strong and is growing stronger by the day, conquering the world one device at a time. Apple is rushing to make millions more, though we fear even that will not satiate the desire for the tablet.
Yet there seems to be a dark cloud looming somewhere in the horizon… dark enough to cast a pall of gloom over the magical land of Apple. The effects are already making themselves known and are preventing the iPad from reaching the pinnacle of its success. The dastardly villain is the LG Display Co., who is entrusted with the job of supplying the flat panel displays of the iPad. Chances are that they might not have thought the iPad would be such a success story and they are simply not able to supply enough panels to meet the requirement. As a result there’s always a demand/supply gap existing and seems to be ever widening.
So the next logical question is, “When can we expect normalcy in the demand/supply area, so that there are enough iPad units to meet the requirement worldwide?” Unfortunately, the answer to this from LG has not been encouraging, as “by the second quarter of next year” is what they are able to promise. LG has firmed up plans to make an investment to the tune of $512 million on a new production line that will be churning out the flat panel displays of the iPad in even higher numbers. However, that the plant will attain “production ready” status only by the “second quarter of next year” is disappointing. Of course time will flow at the same rate as it has since time memorial, but the many months between then and now feel like ages to those of us in need of Apple’s blessings.
What’s also true is that the sales figure of the iPad will still be counted in millions while the bigger picture will continue to be the same; ecstasy among those who have access to the device and hope or despair among those who don’t. That things won’t improve much before the second quarter is a real dampener. It seems this magical device requires a real act of magic for it reach the many more millions in need.