Wed, Feb 23, 2011 - Page 11 News List

New iPad shipments may be delayed

By Weiyi Lim  /  Bloomberg

Apple Inc’s shipments of a new version of its iPad tablet computer may be delayed to June from April because of “production bottlenecks” at manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), Yuanta Securities Co (元大證券) said.

The delay arose after Cupertino, California-based Apple made design changes before the Lunar New Year, according to a report by Vincent Chen (陳豊丰) and Alison Chen (陳宇笙), analysts at Yuanta. Jill Tan (陳玉麗), an Apple spokeswoman in Hong Kong, declined to comment on the report. Edmund Ding (丁祈安), a spokesman for Hon Hai, didn’t answer calls to his Taiwan and China cellphones.

“Our checks suggest new issues are being encountered with the new production and it is taking time to resolve them,” Chen said in the report. “As a number of Android 3.0 tablets are being launched in April and May, the delay in iPad 2 shipments may give the Android camp a brief window of opportunity.”

Shares of Hon Hai, a Taipei-based contract manufacturer for Apple, dropped 2.2 percent to NT$111.50 at the close of Taipei trading, the lowest level since Dec. 2.

A two-month delay in introducing the iPad could lower the tablet computer’s shipments to 23 million units this year, as compared with the brokerage’s current forecast of 30.6 million, according to the report.

The iPad, introduced in April, accounted for 17 percent of sales last quarter. The company has sold more than 15 million iPads so far, Apple vice president Eddy Cue said on Feb 2.

The iPhone is Apple’s top-selling product, accounting for 39 percent of revenue last fiscal year.

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