The planned launch of the new Apple iPad 2 which was scheduled for March 25th in Australia, may be pushed into April due to supply problems.
Launches in the Czech Republic and Japan, which are Countries that were initally included in a round of 26 Counties that would get the new iPod 2 on the 25th of March have already seen their launches either prosponed or moved to the 25th of April.
At this stage we cannot find any information on the Apple Australia site indicating that the launch has been rescheduled.
The company hasn’t made any official statements on the subject.
Engadget said that if the change in dates are reflective of a delay, it could suggest that early iPad 2 sales were exceeding forecasts, even after forecasting the early rush and a large increase in supply needed for an international launch. Apple is still seeing lines in the hundreds at its US retail stores and is still quoting shipping delays of four to five weeks for online orders, hinting that it may have to tightly ration international expansion to keep US supply under control. Last year, Apple had to push original iPad international releases back by a month, although its supply at the time was believed to be much more limited than in 2011.
Apple still hasn’t given indications of how many iPad 2s have sold other than to say early results were ‘amazing.’ It usually celebrates the million-unit mark of iPad or iPhone sales early on, though, and might not have reached the figure so far.
A recent teardown analysis of the iPad 2 by IHS iSuppli recently identified at least five parts sourced from Japanese suppliers, including difficult to replace components such as the electronic compass and the ultra-thin lithium-ion battery manufactured only by Apple Japan, an Apple subsidiary.
“Typically, battery cells are made at the site of assembly but because the iPad 2’s lithium-ion polymer battery is unusually thin, it likely requires advanced battery cell manufacturing technologies that reside in Japan,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst, competitive analysis, at IHS iSuppli.
Logistical disruptions may mean that Apple could have difficulties obtaining this battery, and it may not be able to secure supply from an external, non-Japanese source.
Other Japan-manufactured components include the iPad 2’s NAND flash made by Toshiba, DRAM from Elpida Memory, the e-compass from AKM Semiconductor and the touchscreen overlay glass from Asahi Glass.
“While some of these suppliers reported that their facilities were undamaged, delivery of components from all of these companies is likely to be impacted at least to some degree by logistical issues now plaguing most Japanese industries in the quake zone. Suppliers are expected to encounter difficulties in getting raw materials supplied and distributed as well as in shipping out products. They also are facing difficulties with employee absences because of problems with the transportation system. The various challenges are being compounded by interruptions in the electricity supply, which can have a major impact on delicate processes, such as semiconductor lithography,” the report said.