Even though Apple said initial sales of the new iPad were very strong, something very odd is happening. Workers at Foxconn's plant in Shenzhen, China are being given time off. A lot of it, in fact.
According to China Business News, Foxconn employees are being given time off, and that's hurting the workers who count on the overtime to make ends meet. One worker said that he had already been given ten days off in March, which is extremely unusual.
Foxconn recently opened a plant in Brazil to begin making iPads so maybe some of the production is going there, or even to other plants across China. Still, it seems rather odd that production at a plant known for cranking out iDevices and keeping long-hours would be giving workers so many days off in the first month after a new product went on sale. A look at Apple's website indicates the demand is still healthy for the LTE version, with wait times of 1-2 weeks for both AT&T and Verizon. Maybe this really is a case of Apple hedging its bets even further than it already has. If so, kudos to them.
Apple recently gained approval to sell the new iPad in China, so perhaps there will be a ramp-up in demand once it its stores and the Chinese consumer flocks to Apple's retail stores and various electronic stores to purchase it.
Or perhaps, despite Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing saying the new iPad was a "blockbuster" with over 3 million units sold its the first weekend, maybe the new iPad really isn't all Apple has made it out to be.
Only time and earnings results will tell.