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Thursday, March 04, 2010, 08:55 am PT (11:55 am ET)

'Minor delays' in iPad production could limit Apple launch to 200K

The second report in a week claiming Apple has experienced iPad production delays surfaced Thursday, with the latest suggesting the company is currently able to produce between 200,000 and 250,000 devices per month.

Think Equity analyst Vijay Rakesh issued a note to investors Thursday stating that checks with Taiwanese manufacturers "indicate some minor delays" in production of the iPad. Specifically, he said manufacturing of the iPad was supposed to pick up in February, but production volume for March remains low. Those issues, he said, are only expected to be temporary.

"Our checks are indicating iPad volumes will pick back up to the 800k-1M units/month into April-May from the current 200-250K," Rakesh wrote. "We believe this is just a minor hiccup in a longer-term entirely new revenue stream and product roadmap for AAPL."

He added: "The delays do not appear to be (from) glass or manufacturing process (issues)."

On Monday, another analyst issued a separate report alleging that an "unspecified production problem" had arisen in manufacturing of the iPad. Peter Misek with Canaccord Adams said the issues could restrict the number of launch units to just 300,000, or potentially delay the launch of the iPad past March.

However, suppliers in Taiwan told DigiTimes this week that there have been no issues in the iPad manufacturing. That report claimed that Apple would likely be able to ship between 600,000 and 700,000 units this month, and another million in April.

There has been speculation that retail sales of the iPad could begin March 26, though Apple has not announced an official date. Initial availability will be limited to the Wi-Fi model, with a 3G-capable version expected to arrive in late April.