Wintek May Be Behind Delayed iPad Launch

Apple’s iPad will miss the promised March release window by three days, and some reports claim Wintek, the tablet’s touch screen supplier, is behind the delay.

According to DigiTimes, a manufacturing bottleneck is slowing down Wintek’s touch screen production and delaying parts delivery to Apple. Wintek, however, filed a statement with the Taiwan Stock Exchange reporting that all of its production operations are in line with company expectations.

Prior to Apple’s announcement that iPad pre-orders would begin on March 12 and that the multimedia tablet and ebook reader would ship on April 3, reports surfaced claiming that parts suppliers were causing delays in the product launch. Canaccord Adams analyst, Peter Misek, said at the beginning of March that production problems would delay the iPad launch possibly for a full month, and that initial shipments would be very limited.

“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, far lower than the company’s initial estimate of 1,000K units,” Mr. Misek said. “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.”

iPad part suppliers responded quickly to say that the reports of production delays were wrong, and that Foxconn was receiving the components it needed.

Apple’s iPad is a multimedia touchscreen tablet device. It includes a 9.7-inch multi-touch display, supports most iPhone applications, includes an ebook reader, offers built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, and some models include 3G wireless data support as well. The iPad will ship on April 3 and is priced starting at US$499.