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Apple to shift 3 million iPad 2s in first 20 days

Apple is planning to ship 12 million iPad 2s in the second quarter of 2011, and as many as three million in the first 19 days on sale.

The second coming of the iPad will hit US retail on March 11th and insider reports from Taiwanese component suppliers published by Digitimes suggest that between two and three million units will be delivered in March alone.

Manufacturing plants started phasing out production of the original iPad in February and are now working full tilt to meet demand. Judging by the almost exclusively positive response to the Steve Jobs-fronted announcement of the heavily-tweaked tablet, it's a fair bet that demand will outstrip supply.

Apple had always planned to ship 40 million iPads in 2011 and that figure has not been revised since the announcement.

The new model - which features dual cameras, a new dual-core CPU, faster graphics and the ability to output HDMI video - is due to go on sale in the UK and the rest of Europe on March 25th but Apple has a history of delaying world-wide launches while US demand remains high.