A manufacturing bottleneck could limit supplies or push the launch to April, says an analyst
There's good and bad news for Apple (aapl) in a report to clients issued Monday by Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek.
The good news is that iPhone sales are running better than expected, according to the carriers he's been talking to, prompting Misek to raise his fiscal Q2 iPhone sales estimates to 7.9 million units from 7.2 million.
The bad news is that he is also hearing about a "manufacturing bottleneck" affecting production of the new iPad tablet computer that was scheduled to go on sale before the end of this month.
"An unspecified production problem at the iPad’s manufacturer, Hon Hai Precision, will likely limit the launch region to the US and the number of units available to roughly 300K in the month of March," he writes, "far lower than the company’s initial estimate of 1,000K units. The delay in production ramp will likely impact Apple’s April unit estimate of 800K as well. It is also possible that, given the limited number of units available in March, the launch will be delayed for a month."
UPDATE: Wired's Gadget Lab reports that an Apple spokeswoman told them "the iPad will be available in late March," which is also what the company's website says here.
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Misek didn't expect any delay to materially affect iPad sales for fiscal 2010 or 2011, which he had pegged for 1.2 million and 3.5 million units, respectively. (Misek's iPad estimates are on the low end; the Street's consensus for fiscal 2010 and 2011 is closer to 1.7 million and 4.9 million units, respectively. See How many iPods will Apple sell?)
On the other hand, Misek doesn't expect much of a bump from the acceleration of iPhone sales either. In his model, it's offset by a delay in the release of the iPhone for Verizon (vz) that he believes Apple is building. He had expected the Verizon iPhone to arrive before September; now he's not expecting it until the Christmas quarter.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]