Rumor Mill: iPad 2 delay gives Android 'window of opportunity'

The commercial launch of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad 2 may be delayed from April to June due to "production bottlenecks" at Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which assembles the iPad, according to a research note from Yuanta Securities.

According to the Taiwanese securities firm, Apple made design changes to the successor of its popular tablet that forced component makers to alter their production processes. The changes were made in early February, the report said.

"Our checks suggest new issues are being encountered with the new production and it is taking time to resolve them," the analysts wrote 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."

However, according to a separate Reuters report, which an cited unnamed source familiar with the matter, the iPad 2 will not be delayed. As press time, the report did not add any details.

An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Hon Hai spokesman declined to comment, according to Reuters.

Apple has sold 14.8 million iPads since debuting the gadget in April, including 7.33 million in its most recent quarter. The iPad contributed $4.6 billion to Apple sales, or 17 percent of its total revenue, in the company's most recent quarter. 

Apple recently started manufacturing the sequel to its popular iPad tablet, according to a report earlier this month in the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, the report said AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will carry the new iPad, but that Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA will not. 

The report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said new iPad will be thinner and lighter and have more memory and a more powerful graphics processor than its predecessor. The report also said the iPad sequel will have at least one camera to enable video conferencing, a feature that was left off the original iPad but has since become standard in many other tablets.

In other tablet scuttlebutt, DigiTimes reported Hewlett-Packard will release its TouchPad tablet in April. The report, citing "sources from HP's upstream component partners," said HP expects to ship 4 million to 5 million TouchPads this year. HP has previously said that a Wi-Fi-only version of the TouchPad will be out this summer, with 3G and 4G versions to follow. Representatives from HP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this DigiTimes article
- see this Reuters article

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