Analyst: Apple tablet 'in full production'

The production of the yet to be released Apple tablet is at full tilt, analyst says, and Apple "NAND" flash chip requirements may be increasing because of the tablet.

An analyst at AVI Securities said Friday morning that the Apple tablet is "in full production" and a research note stated that Apple "NAND" flash chip requirements may be increasing because of the tablet.

The Apple tablet information comes from "a maker of components going into the Apple tablet," according to analyst Matt Thornton. "It's been in the supply chain for a while and entered full production this month. A couple of suppliers actually had weaker Decembers than they would have expected because production was pushed back a little bit," he said in an interview.

Tablets on display last week at the Consumer Electronics Show
Tablets on display last week at the Consumer Electronics Show Brooke Crothers

A research note from AVI Securities Friday reiterated past reports about the timing and projected annual shipments of the tablet. "Production for the new Apple tablet is expected in Q1, with annual shipments perhaps reaching 10M units (perhaps in part explaining the significant increase in Apple NAND requirements)," the note said.

Thornton expects little cannibalization of smartphones. "You can either fit something comfortably in your pocket or not," he said, referring to the expectation that the tablet will not be a pocketable device.

"E-books, e-magazines, e-readers, that's what they're going after," Thornton said. "You have limitations on handsets, you have limitations on the Netbook and notebook. This is going after that other category that is much more multimedia centric, as opposed to mobile-communications centric or mobile-productivity centric," he said.

The research note also spoke about cannibalization of Netbooks and notebooks. "There is some chatter suggesting that the new product could cannibalize a portion of the Netbook/notebook segment, which would appear to have some modest negative implications for the traditional PC component supply chain. Given some of the early commentary we have heard around specs/functionality/pricing, we believe significant cannibalization is unlikely."

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