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Apple Doubling iPad Production

Apple, facing an impending Android tablet onslaught, is said to be doubling its iPad production.

CUPERTINO, California (


) --


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is said to have doubled its


production, an effort to meet growing demand -- and, perhaps, to help fend off an impending


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Android tablet onslaught.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty believes that Apple has doubled its iPad "builds" to 2 million tablets a month, a figure which could increase again for the holiday season.

"Apple recently indicated to its suppliers a desire to move to 3 million

iPads a month in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010," she explained in a recent note. "This implies a run rate of 36 million in calendar year 2011, close to the current 40 million supply chain forecast."

Launched in a blaze of publicity earlier this year, the iPad has breathed new life into the ailing tablet market, and has already prompted a flurry of activity from rivals such as Google,

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Hewlett Packard

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Analyst firm


, however, recently predicted that it could be

2012 before the iPad faces a truly viable tablet competitor.

Apple's iPad will account for an overwhelming 74.1% of global tablet shipments in 2010, according to iSuppli, which predicts that this figure will only slip to 70.4% in 2011. Even in 2012, the iPad is expected to account for 61.7% of tablet shipments.

Apple is experiencing great success with the


, which was launched in early April. The consumer tech giant said that it had sold more than 3 million of the devices within its first 80 days, although this figure is now likely much higher -- Steve Jobs did not provide an iPad update during the

Apple's iPod launch event

earlier this week.

Analysts are already scrambling to raise their estimates for the iPad and proclaim that the tablet isn't eating into other Apple product revenue. "iPad strength has not slowed Mac sales," said Huberty in her recent note, adding that U.S. Mac retail sales have been accelerating in recent weeks.

While Apple has undoubtedly carved out a significant lead in the tablet space, competitors, many utilizing Google's Android OS, are scrambling to gain ground. A host of tablets is expected to hit the market this fall, including ones from Google, Motorola and



HP's Slate


Cisco's business-focused Cius

will follow in early 2011.



is getting busy -- the company unveiled its Folio 100 device at the IFA show in Berlin this week. Powered by Android version 2.2, the Folio 100 comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen and, unlike the iPad, offers


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Flash Player 10.1. Toshiba's Folio will be available in Europe later this year, although there is no word yet on a U.S. launch.

Apple has not yet responded to


request for comment on this story.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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