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Monday, February 21, 2011, 10:40 pm PT (01:40 am ET)

Rumor: Apple's next-generation iPad delayed until June

Production bottlenecks at Apple manufacturing partner Hon Hai could delay the next-generation of Apple's iPad until June, a new report claims.

Analysts Vincent Chen and Alison Chen with Taiwan-based research firm Yuanta Securities Co. issued the report, Bloomberg said on Monday.

"Our checks suggest new issues are being encountered with the new production and it is taking time to resolve them,” said Chen. "As a number of Android 3.0 tablets are being launched in April and May, the delay in iPad 2 shipments may give the Android camp a brief window of opportunity."

According to the analysts, design changes made before the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday earlier this month have caused the delay. A June launch would also likely coincide with the release of the next-generation iPhone, which has typically occurred every June.

Hon Hai stock dropped 2 percent on the Taipei index Monday to its lowest close since Dec. 2 last year.

The Yuanta report contradicts earlier reports also out of Asia that claim the iPad had already begun production this month. Earlier this month, reports emerged that Apple could be planning a small event in March to mark the unveiling of the second-generation iPad.

On Monday, news that T-Mobile and Orange in the U.K. have reduced their prices for the entry-level 16GB iPad prompted speculation that the carriers were hoping to clear inventory ahead of an updated iPad from Apple.

It has also been suggested that the Cupertino, Calif., company would refresh the iPad ahead of the usual 12-month product cycle.

The next iPad is expected to include a FaceTime-ready camera, as well as improved internals, such as more RAM, a faster CPU and dual-core graphics. Some reports have also mentioned the possibility of e-wallet capabilities and a high-resolution Retina display.

For more information on the upcoming iPad update, please see Appleinsider's iPad information archive.