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iPad launch may be limited to US, says analyst

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Apple's forthcoming iPad launch may be delayed a month or limited to the US due to an "unspecified production problem," according to one market analyst.

In a research to note published on Monday, Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek claims to have heard rumblings that a "manufacturing bottleneck" at the iPad's producer will limit initial availability to only about 300k units — far less than Apple's estimate of 1,000k iPads ready for market.

"An unspecified production problem at the iPad's manufacturer, Hon Hai Precision, will likely limit the launch region to the US," Misek said in the note. "It is also possible that, given the limited number of units available in March, the launch will be delayed for a month."

However, as John Paczkowski reports on his All Things Digital blog, the rumor should be taken with a pinch of salt, as Misek doesn't have an absolutely sterling history of Apple predictions. Earlier this year, he incorrectly ascertained that Apple would likely debut a new iPhone for Verizon at the company's January iPad debut event.

In his report, Misek goes on to say the delay won't have a major impact on Apple's coffers — resulting only in some frustrated fans and "modest" tarnishing of the iPad launch hullabaloo. He predicts that Apple will sell roughly 1.2 million iPads in fiscal 2010 and 3.5 million in 2011.

Misek also raised his forecast for iPhone sales in the current quarter to 7.9 million units, up from his previous prediction of 7.2 million. At the same time, he reduced his forecast for iPhone sales in Apple's fourth fiscal quarter in 2010 by 80,000 due to a delay in the release of the iPhone for Verizon, which he still believes that Apple is making. ®

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