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Taiwanese component makers looking at 10m iPads.

|Includes:Apple Inc. (AAPL), ARMH, CY, SYNA

Some Taiwanese component makers, who are supplying Apple, say the company has ordered enough parts for 10m units of the iPad over the coming year.  If  correct, these numbers suggest that there is plenty of room for upside surprises in Apple's results. Over the last month estimates for  iPad shipments have been edging up. The consensus range is now around 6m to 8m devices.

The other area where Apple could beat forecasts is with sales into Asia.  In the company's last reported numbers, Asian sales were remarkably strong. Sales to both Taiwan and Japan had increased several fold, more recently sales of the iPhone into South Korea have exploded. Apple has always struggled in Asia, but by the fourth quarter last year the region was contributing 20% of profits - double what it represented a year earlier.

I have just returned from a 9 day trip to Singapore and Hong Kong and iPhones can be seen everywhere. Only a year ago you seldom saw any Apple products across Asia.  In Hong Kong, I saw three Apple resellers in the Central region. When I last visited 18 months ago there was only one. A leading phone retailer in Singapore told me that smartphones now represent 70% of handset sales in the city state, with the iPhone being far and away the market leader.

Apple's likely success can also be gauged in the comment from a senior executive from ARM, the UK based company the Intel of the embedded computer and mobile phone world. ARM supplies that the microprocessor design for about 80% of the world's mobile handsets and is being used by Apple in the iPad. The ARM executive recently predicted that around 50 iPad devices would ship over the coming 12 months. 

The producers of touch sensitive screens are likely beneficiaries. Two I can think of the US are Synaptics and Cypress Semiconductor.


Disclosure: i do not own APPLE, ARMH, SYNA, or CY