updated 05:50 pm EDT, Mon April 19, 2010
Suppliers struggle to meet demand
Apple's iPad supply problems have been blamed on touchscreen shortages, according to a Bloomberg report. Suppliers are allegedly running into problems meeting strong demand for the 9.7-inch displays utilized in the tablet device. The research firm iSuppli suggests the components are already sourced from three different companies including LG, Samsung, and Seiko Epson.
“We understand that the yields on the display have been low and that they’re creating a production bottleneck,” iSuppli analyst Andrew Rassweiler told Bloomberg. “That they have been doing it for the iPhone for some time is great, but once you go to 9.7 inches, it is a much more complicated process.”
Apple recently announced that international sales -- originally scheduled for April -- have been delayed until May, saying that US sales were stronger than expected, with more than 500,000 iPads distributed in seven days.
The iPad display, which uses in-plane switching (IPS) technology, is claimed to be the most expensive piece of the tablet. iSuppli suggests the touchscreen commands $95, more than twice the cost for similar displays used in typical netbooks.
“Scaling manufacturing of the iPad has been quite a challenge -- there are a number of key components that go into that device that have never before had to scale to mass-market production,” said Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner. "We shouldn't be surprised that some of those start to hit some glitches."