The proverbial — and literal — stock of Apple, Inc. is sky high at the moment, which could be clouding the better judgement of some analysts. And this next prediction may fall into that category: 45 million iPads to be sold in 2011. The prognostication comes courtesy of intel acquired by Ticonderoga Securities from various component suppliers in China and Taiwan. “During our visit to Asia last fall, we indicated that our checks were pointing to expectations for up to 45 million iPad unit sales by Apple,” writes Brian White, an analyst with Ticonderoga. “At the time, this number was difficult for many investors and some in the media to get their heads around. However, this week’s meetings are again pointing to expectations for iPad unit sales of 40 million to 45 million units in CY11, well above our estimate of 30.9 million.” Digital Daily‘s John Paczkowski writes that the estimates do seem “a tad optimistic,” and notes that we should have a better gauge on 2011 iPad sales next week when the company reports its second-quarter earnings.