Apple iPad 2 release in June after production delays tip analysts

Apple's retail partners may be selling out of old iPad stock, but that doesn't necessarily mean the iPad 2 will be ready and waiting to fill up the empty shelves. According to analysts at Yuanta, reported by Bloomberg, last-minute design changes to the iPad 2 have prompted "production bottlenecks" at manufacturers Hon Hai and could see the second-generation iOS tablet's launch pushed back to June.

"Our checks suggest new issues are being encountered with the new production and it is taking time to resolve them," analysts Vincent Chen and Alison Chen claim in their report. The exact design changes Cupertino made are unknown, but the timing – just before the Lunar New Year, when most employees down tools – appears to have prompted the delay concerns.

If true, the iPad 2 arriving two months later than predicted could leave Honeycomb-based slates such as the Motorola XOOM and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, together with HP's webOS based TouchPad, some extra room to grab their own slice of the market. "As a number of Android 3.0 tablets are being launched in April and May," the analysts point out, "the delay in iPad 2 shipments may give the Android camp a brief window of opportunity." Apple and Hon Hai have not commented on the speculation.