We were rather surprised last Thursday to discover that, unlike we were told, Apple had not opened pre-orders for the iPad. Well, according to analyst Peter Misek, the explanation might be less trivial than we thought.

Quoted by Digitaly Daily today, Misek reports that Apple might have run into some troubles with its iPad production. In consequence, we might only get a very limited number of devices at launch, and that’s if Apple doesn’t push the launch back all together:

We have…heard that the upcoming iPad launch may be somewhat limited as a manufacturing bottleneck has impacted production of Apple’s newest device. An unspecified production problem at the iPad’s manufacturer, Hon Hai Precision, will likely limit the launch region to the US and the number of units available to roughly 300K in the month of March, far lower than the company’s initial estimate of 1,000K units. The delay in production ramp will likely impact Apple’s April unit estimate of 800K as well. It is also possible that, given the limited number of units available in March, the launch will be delayed for a month.

We’ve seen Apple play the limited availability card before with the original iPhone as well as the 3G model, so this might not be such an issue for them. On the other hand, it would solve quite a dilemma for many of us if they indeed ended up launching the WiFi iPad along with the 3G version.

Would you rather wait and buy it in calm, or sleep in front of a store and be the first one in line?

Update***

An Apple spokeswoman just told Wired that the “iPad will be available in late March.”. So while we still don’t know if there will indeed be constraints on the available amounts, Apple is definitely on schedule.