An interesting piece of news was released by Digitimes this morning: while the iPad 2 is about to hit store shelves, the device may prove to be difficult to find, as a combination of last minute product changes and component shortages will apparently lead to lower-than-expected amounts of units available at launch.
The iPad 2 production plans haven’t changed though, as the company’s subcontractors already started producing mass quantities of second generation iPads. However, touch panels yields are allegedly lackluster, and forced the Cupertino-based company to revise its forecast, from about 500,000 units on hand shortly after the introduction of the device, to only about 350,000. Interestingly enough, the exact same issue led to massive first generation iPad shortages back in 2010.
The lowered output could also be related to the fact that the iPad 3 launch plans have allegedly been accelerated, in order to allow Apple to better compete against the slew of dual-core tablets about to be launched.
Meanwhile, Apple also lowered its first generation iPad production output, in order to get rid of current first generation iPad stocks, given the imminent launch of the iPad 2.
The iPad 2 is expected to come with several improvements over the first generation iPad, such as a thinner design, a rear camera for taking pictures, a front camera to allow the iPad 2 to be compatible with FaceTime, as well as a larger, more powerful speaker. While the device is expected to sport more memory, the iPad 2′s CPU should be very similar to the one found in the first generation iPad, albeit clocked at a higher speed. The device should also come with a better quality screen, but its resolution will be the same as the one offered by the first generation iPad display, 1024×768.