A new report by Digitimes today claims that Apple his already buying up 60% of the world’s supply of touch panels, leaving competitors to fight between themselves over what’s left. The news comes as Apple reportedly expects to ship 40 Million iPad units by the end of this year.
Sources from tablet PC makers also pointed out that the component shortage is causing their shipment volumes to be unable to catch up with their orders, especially for second-tier players. Touch panels are currently suffering the most serious shortage due to Apple holding control over the capacity of major touch panel makers such as Wintek and TPK, and with US-based RIM, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard (HP) also competing for related components, second-tier players are already out of the game, the sources noted.
With iPad 2 just around the corner this makes a lot of sense. We probably don’t have to remind you that Apple announced at its earnings call last month that it had recently invested as much as $3.9 Billion in companies that would ensure it would be able to provide long term supply of certain components needed for both the iPhone (and iPad).[Digitimes via MacRumors]