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45 Million iPads Predicted to ship in 2011

Forbes reports that Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White spoke with a key Apple supplier in Asia and his source believes Apple will ship 45 million iPads in 2011. White’s source is said to have a good view into Apple production as the source’s company is the exclusive provider of a single component that ships in all iPads.

White’s source says Apple shipped six million iPads in 3Q this year and predicts Apple will ship another seven million iPads in 4Q. This would bring iPad sales to approximately 20 million units for 2010. At the current rate, Apple is on pace to exceed most analyst’s current estimates for both 2010 and 2011.

Apple has been mysteriously quiet recently and has not provided any updates on exactly how many iPads the company has sold. Apple initially provided reports on iPad sales after the device hit the one million, two million and three million sales numbers. The last time the company reported sales for the iPad was on June 22 when it issued a press release saying it had sold over three million iPads in less than 80 days.

White’s source indicated Apple is working on another iPad which will be smaller and include a USB connector, camera, Retina display and 128 GB of storage. These features are in line with other reports that have been circulating on the net. Since these features have all been rumored for several months, either there’s some truth to them or all the sources are reading the same rumor blogs and simply repeating what they’ve read.

It’s unclear how reliable the source is as even White’s forecast for iPad shipments is much more conservative than what his source is predicting. White estimates Apple will sell roughly nine million iPads in the second half of 2010 and nearly 22 million iPads in 2011.