After news on the weekend that new iPad orders wouldn't ship until April 12, Chinese manufacturers of the device have reportedly revised their shipping forecasts.
Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty told clients in a note Monday that suppliers have increased their forecasts for Apple iPad shipments from 5 million in 2010 to between 8 million and 10 million, according to a report on Fortune. Suppliers now expect to ship 2.5 million iPads in the first three months alone.
Apple is scheduled to begin selling the Wi-Fi version of the iPad at its retail stores April 3. The iPad Wi-Fi + 3G version is scheduled to be available in late April, the company has said.
On Monday, Apple said that in addition to be being available at its 221 U.S. retail locations starting Saturday, the iPad would also be available from most Best Buy stores, select Apple authorized resellers, and campus bookstores. The company will also hold iPad workshops at its retail stores Saturday to help customers learn more about the device.
Huberty says her sales estimates for calendar 2010 remains at 6-plus million. She indicated in the report that the consensus among analysts for iPad shipments is 3 million to 4 million.
Reports this weekend had indicated that any new iPad orders would not begin shipping until April 12, which suggested that Apple has already burned through its initial iPad inventory.
While nobody really knows for sure how many preorders Apple has taken for the iPad, initial speculation has the orders in the hundreds of thousands.
See also: All about the Apple iPad (FAQ)