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iSuppli Almost Doubles iPad Sales Estimate

Market research firm iSuppli has almost doubled the estimated number of iPad units Apple will sell in 2010, PC Mag reports.

Previously, the company had predicted that Apple would sell 7.1 million iPads in 2010, but has now revised its estimate, increasing the figure to 12.9 million units.

The announcement came just hours before Apple released its third quarter fiscal results and days after a analysts predicted that the company would surpass Microsoft in terms of revenue.

In a statement to PC Mag, Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli, said: "The iPad is shaping up to be the 'Tickle Me Elmo' of the 2010 holiday season, with product demand expected to vastly exceed available supply."

“Apple has hiked its iPad manufacturing goals to suppliers across Asia. As iSuppli stated in its initial forecast, the key to continuing success will be how quickly Apple responds to issues as they arise and whether the company can align suppliers to meet demand needs.”

Alexander explained that the only factor restricting Apple's growth is the production of its touch screens, which will now expand due to the growing number of suppliers in the market.

Production capacity for the iPad's projective capacitive screen is increasing daily with new vendors entering the market, expanding production at existing sites and improvements in yield rates at the established producers," Alexander added.