Apple Shares Take Hit on Talk of iPad Delay

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Apple (AAPL) shares fell Tuesday as rumors swirled about potential production delays on the second revision of the iPad.

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Early Tuesday, Taiwanese broker Yuanta Securities said it expects the second iPad to be released later in the year than its predecessor, which launched to huge sales in April of last year.

"Our checks suggest new issues are being encountered with the new production process and it is taking time to resolve them," Yuanta head of downstream securities, Vincent Chen, said in the research note on Tuesday.

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According to Chen, substantial design changes to the iPad are making it more difficult than expected to manufacture the tablet. In addition to potentially pushing the launch date back, Chen wrote that it could negatively affect sales of the device.

Apple, the biggest technology company in the world, is frequently plagued by rumors and speculation. Indeed, hours after initial report from Yuanta, other reports surfaced suggesting Apple will release the newest iPad in April, as expected. 

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Apple has not officially announced the second iPad, or commented on any of today’s rumors.

Many analysts are expecting the new iPad to feature a camera, connectivity port that is different from Apple’s standard bottom dock-connector and a higher resolution display.

Apple sold 7.33 million iPads during the first quarter of 2011.

Separately, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a shareholder group is going to push Apple to discuss succession plans for current chief executive officer, Steve Jobs, at the annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.

Jobs, who is considered a crucial part of Apple’s success, is presently on an indefinite medical leave of absence. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004, and received a liver transplant in 2009.

The company has given little information about his condition, and Jobs has requested privacy during his leave.

"I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can," Jobs wrote in an internal e-mail to Apple employees.

Shares of the technology behemoth slid $8.25, or 2.4%, to 342.12 in midday trading in New York. 

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