Apple’s global iPad shipments are likely to enjoy a 20% year-on-year growth in 2020, according to supply chain estimates.
According to DigiTimes, the impressive growth rate is much higher than a previous estimate of an 8% hike to 45.1 million units, and that is largely due to the impact of the global health crisis and the rate of people switching to remote working.
Supply chain makers have begun ramping up related shipments since September with the momentum likely to peak in November, said the sources, adding that combined monthly shipments of the new 10.9-inch iPad Air and 10.2-inch iPad devices during the September-November period will reach over six million units.
In response to the projected growth, Taiwan-based General Interface Solution (GIS), which is a major supplier of iPad touch panels, is expanding capacity at its Chinese plant, with an additional capacity of 500,000 units a month to become available in early 2021, according to DigiTimes‘ sources.
GIS has reported revenues of $420.11 million, up 13% sequentially, and 0.32% year-on-year. For January-September, revenues totaled $3.11 billion, up 4% year-on-year.
Apple announced the new iPad Air 4 at its September digital event and said the device would become available “in October,” so there’s a good chance that the company could announce pre-order and launch dates for the iPad Air at Tuesday’s Apple event, in which the iPhone 12 lineup is expected to be unveiled. Well-connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman said that Apple marketing materials for the new iPad Air started landing at retail stores at the beginning of October, suggesting a launch sooner rather than later.
Apple’s new iPad Air shares the same A14 processor as the iPhone 12. Apple had never debuted a new AXX-series chip in an iPad before, so it’s possible that Apple didn’t want the new tablet getting into the hands of the public before its latest flagship smartphone.
Apple reported during the announcement of the fourth-generation iPad Air that the A14 offers 40 percent faster performance and up to 30 percent faster graphics than the previous iPad Air with the A12 Bionic, while benchmarks supposedly for the iPad Air 4 reveal that the A14 offers significant performance improvements over the iPhone 11‘s A13 Bionic CPU.