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Analyst doubles iPad sales forecast

Almost 13 million iPads will fly off the shelf by the end of the year.

Analyst firm iSuppli raised its sales forecast for the Apple iPad a few hours before the electronic manufacturer announced its third quarter results on Tuesday.

The firm said Apple will sell 12.9 million units in 2010, nearly twice its initial forecast of 7.1 million units. iPad shipments will rise to 36.5 million in 2011 and 50.4 million in 2012, iSuppli added.

"The iPad is shaping up to be the 'Tickle Me Elmo' of the 2010 holiday season, with product demand expected to vastly exceed available supply," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research for iSuppli.

Although Asus and Acer could start competing by the end of this year, Apple will rule the market until electronic manufacturers such as HP and others join the market, most likely in 2011, Alexander added.