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Stocks of the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 could run dry in months to come, a report suggests, as Apple’s overseas manufacturing partners struggle to keep up with demand.

According to Taiwanese site DigiTimes, Foxconn, which assembles Apple kit in China, is experiencing a marked undersupply of key components at its premises in the wake of the Japanese tsunami disaster that affected factories throughout the country. Meanwhile, labour shortages at Foxconn are also impacting on its capacity to fulfil its supply obligations.

The effect of the problems is expected to be at its height during the critical fourth quarter of 2011, by which time Apple had aimed to have reached total iPad 2 and iPhone 4 shipments of some 40 million for the year.

The report is likely to fuel further speculation that the iPhone 5 could miss its scheduled launch in June due to the same supply chain issues.

It’s now increasingly thought that Apple will instead lift the lid on the next-gen iPhone in September instead – the month usually reserved for the arrival of new iPods.



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