updated 07:35 am EST, Wed February 23, 2011
Next iPad may lose 100K-200K production
Apple's future iPad may have seen a drop in early production owing to both problems and a late change from Apple itself. New tips from part suppliers suggest that Apple will have shrunk its initial iPad 2 production in the first quarter of the year by 100,000 to 200,000 tablets, down to 300,000 to 400,000. Low supply of touchscreen layers and an "adjustment in specifications" were to blame, Digitimes' sources said.
Despite the shortfall, Apple hasn't given any signs that it sees a significant problem, the same contacts said. Part builders reportedly haven't been asked to delay any shipments, and the company has the support of Chimei Innolux, LG Display and Samsung to make panels.
The company is likely to have more stock on hand for the launch after factoring in March production, but the supply could lead to a repeat of the original iPad's debut last year, where Apple had to confine initial shipments to the US. The same sources also supported notions that Apple was facing existing iPad shortages; with no more than 1.5 million iPads in circulation as of January and at most two million being made the same month before moving to the new model, Apple will have had 3.5 million iPads to handle worldwide supply between January and March.
A significant problem with the new iPad's production, as a consequence, could leave Apple with very little stock if it has to delay the updated model. The company encountered a similar problem with the original iPhone, where it misjudged production as it switched to the iPhone 3G and left customers without any option for weeks.