Delays may hit the iPad 2 and iPhone 5

 
Steve Dinneen
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APPLE may face production delays that could push back the launch of both its iPad 2 and iPhone 5.

The iPad 2 was slated for release in April but people hoping to get their hands on the latest tablet could now have to wait until June. The iPhone 5 was expected in July but could now be delayed until September.

However, conflicting sources last night claimed it could be unveiled in California as soon as 2 March.

The Cupertino-based firm has never confirmed when either product will be launched but iPhones are generally released in June or July each year.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger said: “With various casing suppliers and touch suppliers still ramping up, with some chip vendors not having yet received firm iPhone 5 orders, and with other sockets like the image sensor… a September launch is likely.”

Berger says he expects Apple to shift 100m iPhones in 2011. He also believes Apple has increased its iPad target from 38m to 45m units.

Apple has often struggled to keep up with huge demand for new releases, with previous iterations of the iPad and iPhone sold out globally for months after their launch.

The new iPhone is expected to feature near-field communication technology, allowing it to be used as a portable payment device, while the iPad 2 will have front and rear-facing cameras.

The news comes as iPad retailers slashed their prices on the first version of the tablet, suggesting they expect the new one to arrive soon. Carphone Warehouse is completely out of stock and Orange has cut its prices to just £99 with a 24-month contract.

A new MacBook Pro computer is also expected soon, with Apple staff being asked to sign non-disclosure agreements about a top-secret meeting, believed to be about its launch.

Apple will face tough questions from shareholders today about who will succeed boss Steve Jobs, who is thought to be extremely sick.