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Apple plots iPad 2 production reduction

Moles claim output has been cut

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Apple has allegedly reduced the number of iPad 2s it wants its contract manufacturer to churn out. If true, the claim suggests Apple may indeed see the iPad 2 simply as small-scale upgrade ahead of the introduction of the iPad 3 later this year.

Industry moles cited by Taiwanese trade site DigiTimes say Apple originally wanted Foxconn to punch out 400,000-600,000 iPad 2 units during Q1 2011, but has now reduced that total to 300,000-400,000.

Either Apple can't source sufficient components to justify the higher volume of output - unlikely, say the insiders - or it doesn't believe it will sell quite as many iPad 2s as it might have first thought.

Apple is expected to announce the iPad 2 at an event on 2 March, Reuters reports - a claim made by unnamed sources who, we suspect, are Apple PRs spinning against separate allegations that the launch had been put back to June.

iPad users aren't clamouring for an new, improved model, but stiff competition sporting tighter specifications is imminent. Perhaps Apple plans a small, keep-up-with-the-rivals upgrade now before introducing a major iPad update - the iPad 3 - later in the year.

That's certainly one way of looking at the rumours running round the net of late, a notion backed up by claims Apple will move the iPhone 5's introduction to September from June. Making that the date for iPad introductions too makes sense: bring all your iOS device announcements together for maximum impact.

The moles' claim could, of course, be bollocks. We shall see. ®

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