The iPad 2 may be delayed due to "production bottlenecks" at manufacturing company Hon Hai Precision, parent company of Foxconn. This delay is partially the result of unspecified changes in the iPad 2 design made by Apple before the Lunar New Year on February 3, according to a report from Yuanta Securities analysts Vincent Chen and Alison Chen.
"Our checks suggest new issues are being encountered with the new production and it is taking time to resolve them," writes Chen. "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."
A two month delay would push the iPad launch close to Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference and the expected launch date of the iPhone 5. It is possible that Apple could tie the announcement and launch of the two iOS devices together, but the retail debut of two extremely popular devices at the same would be a logistical nightmare. A delay would also cut into analyst's forecast of 30.6 million iPad shipments for 2011, a figure that could drop to 23 million following a delay.
We should note this latest report contradicts previous rumors that suggest the iPad 2 has entered production and is on track for a March release. Both the Wall Street Journal and Japanese website MacOtakara claim to have sources that confirm the iPad 2 is rolling off Asian production lines. According to Bloomberg, an Apple representative in Hong Kong declined to comment on this delay, and Hon Hai spokesperson Edmund Ding was not reachable.
Update: The Loop chimed in with a rebuttal that claims this rumor is absolutely not true. And AllThingsD also claim the iPad 2 will be introduced during a March 2 event.