Manufacturing Problems Could Delay iPhone, iPad Deliveries

A new report says a number of setbacks at a key Apple device manufacturer in Asia could mean fewer shipments of iPhones and iPads in the second quarter.

Foxconn, which made news more than a year ago for a spike in employee suicides that many blamed on working conditions, now has both a workforce shortage and a lack of materials to make the devices at a key Chinese plant. Thats according to Taiwanese newspaper Digitimes, which says component-makers are predicting delays in shipments. Foxconn didnt comment for the story about potential delays.

Its pretty clear that theres pressure on Foxconn to produce. Apples iPhone sales actually went up by 15 percent in Q1 2011 when compared to Q4 2010, pretty rare post-holidays. Of course, Verizon Wireless is a big reason for that; the carrier got its hands on the iPhone for the first time in February, giving sales of the device a big boost.

And then theres the iPad. Apple has set a goal of selling between 35 and 40 million units of the second-generation tablet this year. Sales of the original iPad followed a more typical pattern of dropping off a bit after the holiday season, but the company sold about 1 million new devices on the iPad 2s opening weekend in March. And despite new competition from the Motorola Xoom, the BlackBerry PlayBook and others, the iPad continues to be the biggest seller as we approach the midpoint of quarter two.

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