Apple iPad Rumored to Be Delayed

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple's ( AAPL) next-gen iPad, which was reported to be due out in the spring, is now rumored to be pushed back to the summer.

Tech industry Web site DigiTimes, a site that has been spotty with its Apple rumors, is reporting that Apple will start to produce the fifth-generation iPad in the late summer, as supply chain problems exist. There are reported problems with the touch panels, and ensuring production of these components is critical for the iPad and Apple itself. Any rumor from DigiTimes should be taken with a grain of salt, so don't let anyone say you haven't been warned.

Many on Wall Street (including myself) have believed that Apple will unveil a new 9.7-inch iPad this spring, as it tries to stave off concerns about innovation and get its 2013 product lineup ready for consumers. Any delays to production could be another kink in Apple's armor, which has been bruised with a declining stock price and concerns that Apple's best days are behind it.

The new iPad will reportedly take a page from the iPad mini's playbook, as it has been a huge success since coming to market in October 2012. The new tablet may be thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and have a slim bezel design, features the iPad mini already offers.

Apple still owns a good chunk of the tablet market, according to the latest research from IDC. As of 2012, Apple owned 51% of the market, though it's expected to lose some market share to Android devices in the coming years. IDC projects that by 2013, iOS will account for 46% of the tablet market, with Android accounting for 48.8% of the market. The iPad is still a growing segment for Apple, and continuing to innovate here isn't going to hurt Apple in the minds of consumers and analysts alike.

Apple shares were lower in Tuesday trading, off 0.69% to $423.36.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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