Apple (and we’re guessing most companies) tends to slow down the production of older products when a newer version is on its way. This is done to encourage the adoption of the newer product while focusing the production efforts on their latest product as opposed to the previous generation’s. This trend has been observed in Apple’s other products, such as the MacBook Air (whose 2011 refresh saw the white MacBook get phased out), the MacBook Pro, and the iMac who saw supply constraints.
Well if you’re looking for more evidence that the iPad 3 is definitely on its way, sources familiar with Apple’s product distribution channels have claimed that supply for the iPad 2 WiFi + 3G models are seeing constraints. Not only are Apple’s own distribution channels seeing the constraint, but major retailers have been reported as being out of stock for the 3G version of the iPad 2, usually leaving the more expensive 64GB in stock.
Is this indeed a sign that the iPad 3 will be sticking to its rumored first week of March launch? While a refresh for the iPad is definitely in the cards, we’ll maintain our skepticism for now at least until an official announcement has been made.