Yuanta Securities analysts, cited in the Bloomberg report, say they've heard "new issues" are flaring up with the iPad's new production specifications, resulting in a delay from an anticipated April launch date.
That potential delay could spell a lighter June quarter for Apple, because its fiscal third quarter wouldn't get the benefit of having roughly three months of iPad sales. And in the meantime, the quarter will be relatively quiet since redesigned iPhones historically haven't appeared in stores until late June.
More Pressure at the Manufacturer?
During Apple's fiscal first quarter that ended in December, the company generated net revenues of $26.7 billion, of which iPads accounted for 17% and iPhones 39%, according to its financial report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Hon Hai Precision Industry, based in Taiwan, is manufacturing the iPad. Hon Hai, which is also known as Foxconn Technology Group, has had a rash of suicides at its manufacturing plants, as workers complain of an inhumane and militant management system at the world's largest technology manufacturing company, which also produces the iPhone.
The pressure to catch up with iPad production, along with churning out the next iPhone version, may prompt Apple to keep an even closer eye on the working conditions at its manufacturing partner. Last June, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told attendees at a technology conference that Apple found the rash of suicides at Foxconn troubling and the company was "on top of this."
Shares of Apple were down a 2.5%, or $9, to $341 in midday trading Tuesday.