Apple iPad Release Still on For Late March

Over the last couple of days there have been a number of news reports reporting that there may be a delay in the proposed launch of the Apple iPad in the USA (try here, hereand here). From what I can see, almost all these news stories are directly or indirectly attributed to Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek. On Monday Misek in a research note to business clients wrote about production delays occurring at Hon Hai Precision, the manufacturer tasked with making the iPad devices.

“An unspecified production problem at the iPad’s manufacturer, Hon Hai Precision, will likely limit the launch region to the U.S. and the number of units available to roughly (300,000) in the month of March, far lower than the company’s initial estimate of (1 million) units. The delay in production ramp will likely impact Apple’s April unit estimate of (800,000) as well.”

While there does not appear to be any outward sign of concern from Apple—the company have yet to comment on the current speculation—with shares actually rising 2 percent late Monday.
Misek concludes in his research note:

“We believe that the only material impact from the iPad delay could come in the form of frustrated consumers and some modest loss of lustre for the company’s product launch.”

That, at worst, looks like the nub of it for avid Apple iPad buyers come late March, which is still the official launch and ship of the device, but expect a much-muted and modest day-one launch—far from the grandiose pomp and digital fanfare at the unveiling of the iPad a few weeks ago. It’s going to be a case of slow but steady until late April or early May.

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