"An unspecified production problem at the iPad's manufacturer, Hon Hai Precision, will likely limit the launch region to the US and the number of units available to roughly 300K in the month of March, far lower than the company's initial estimate of 1,000K units. The delay in production ramp will likely impact Apple's April unit estimate of 800K as well. It is also possible that, given the limited number of units available in March, the launch will be delayed for a month."
First off, the information came to Misek in such a back-channel route, that it's rumor-quality at best. Apple has only said that the iPad would launch in "late March". In fact, the Apple Web site still claims a late March launch for the Wi-Fi version, and an April launch for the 3G version. No change there.
According to Misek, Apple planned to have 1 million units available during March, and will now have only about 300,000 on hand. If true, that's a significant shortfall. Is that enough to push back the launch, though? The iPad isn't available for pre-order on the Apple web site, yet. Early indications suggest that three times as many people are interested in the iPad than were interested in the first version of the iPhone. Are 300,000 people really going to buy an iPad the first few weeks it is available? How large of an impact will this manufacturing issue have on the device's launch?
"We believe that the only material impact from the iPad delay could come in the form of frustrated consumers and some modest loss of lustre for the company's product launch," concluded Misek. That much sounds reasonable.
If the initial supply is strained into April, it will be interesting to see how much the devices go for on eBay...