White iPad 2 could be on sale this week, but will it be in short supply?

Forget the hoo-ha around the white iPhone 4 (and, indeed, white iPhone 5). It seems Apple could be set to unveil a white iPad 2 this week, although it's unclear how many will be available.

Forget the hoo-ha around the white iPhone 4 (and, indeed, white iPhone 5). It seems Apple could be set to unveil a white iPad 2 this week, although it's unclear how many will be available, given reports of production issues with the new tablet's display.

A white iPad 2? That's the strong implication from this story on 9to5Mac, based on images of what appears to be a white-coloured bezel destined to be used in the new device, complete with a hole slap bang in the middle of the top edge for a front-facing camera.

What's not clear is whether this will be a limited-edition model, with the bulk of iPad 2s keeping the current black frontage, or whether Apple is switching to white models entirely. Happily, we only have until Wednesday night to wait and see what the company unveils at its launch event in San Francisco.

What about those production issues, though? Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope (by way of AppleInsider) has penned a research note claiming Apple's desire to make the iPad 2 as slim as possible could restrict supplies in the early months.

"It appears that Apple is once again pushing the technology envelope by making the device far thinner than the original iPad, and the iPad 2's ultra-thin glass screen is generating yield issues," he writes. "This appears to be more of a process problem as opposed to a technology problem, and we wouldn't be surprised to see volumes ramp fairly quickly as the process improves."

Cue, well, queues round the block when the iPad 2 launches, as early adopters look to make sure they bagsy one early doors. That said, the ongoing rumours that an iPad 3 will be on the way in autumn may provide pause for thought if the second-generation model proves hard to lay hands on.

The question of when the iPad 2 will actually go on sale continues to provoke speculation, too. Yesterday, AppleInsider suggested it could be available as soon as this week, with units on their way to shops as the device is unveiled tomorrow night.

That claim has been bolstered today by a report on 9to5Mac that Apple has stopped distributing the first-generation iPad to retailers, as stocks run dry on all models, both 3G and Wi-Fi-only. iPad 2 by this weekend? Stay tuned tomorrow for all the news as it's announced.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Last-minute gift ideas

Under pressure? These will deliver on time

With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.