Apple has reportedly placed a new order for 30 million display panels per year from leading display manufacturer AU Optronic. The unconfirmed report from Taiwan Economic News suggests Apple paid a huge 300-400% premium to lock in the order, which could see AU Optronics produce up to 100,000 iPad 2 displays each day. The order accounts for about half of the global tablet market, the report claims. Apple had sourced its 9.7-inch iPad 2 displays from LGD and Samsung and some manufacturing took place in Japan, which could be part of the reason for Apple’s willingness to pay a premium to a new supplier. It is also unclear if the move is a response to light leakage problems many have reported with Apple’s current iPad 2 displays. More →
Some Apple Store locations may or may not be releasing a second wave of iPad 2 shipments to the public today, but potential buyers who would prefer not to deal with the chaos are in for some bad news this morning. Shipping times have varied a great deal in the short time since the iPad 2 was launched last week. Most recently, Apple listed shipping quotes of between two and three weeks. With rumors of new shipments floating around, many had hoped these shipping delays would be reduced as new inventory reached U.S. shores, but unfortunately that’s not yet the case. Apple’s online store now shows increased shipping delays of between four and five weeks, meaning orders placed today might not arrive for over a month. Apple’s shipping quotes typically err on the side of caution, however, so those who order the tablet today can expect to be pleasantly surprised when their iPad 2 ships early. More →
According to an unconfirmed report, numerous Apple Stores will be opening their doors one hour early on Tuesday as new iPad 2 shipments arrive across the country. Several shoppers seeking the new tablet today have reportedly been told by Apple retail staff that new shipments are incoming, but the iPads will not be available for sale until tomorrow. The report claims to have confirmed early openings with several Apple Store locations, though BGR placed calls to four Apple Stores and none would confirm early hours tomorrow. A retail employee at one Apple Store did say that a new iPad 2 shipment was expected today or tomorrow. Apple’s iPad 2 launch was met with tremendous demand, with some analysts estimating that Apple sold nearly 1 million units this past weekend. Apple has not issued any sales figures yet, saying only that “demand for the next generation iPad 2 has been amazing.”
UPDATE: BGR readers George F., Efraim and others have emailed us to confirm that their local Apple Stores will indeed be opening an hour early tomorrow. Interestingly, three different stores we’ve been told about said they would open early but would not be receiving a new iPad 2 shipment until later this week or early next week. The plot is thickening, but we would definitely recommend calling your local Apple store before calling in sick tomorrow. More →
Reuters is reporting that former Apple global supply chain manager, Paul Devine, has pled guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in a San Jose, CA federal court. Mr. Devine, who worked for Apple from 2005 to 2010, was accused of taking kickbacks and “using his position to pass confidential information to help suppliers negotiate favorable contracts with Apple.” As part of his plea, Devine forfeits $2.28 million in cash and property. “Mr. Devine is a good man who made a mistake, and now he’s trying to make amends,” said his attorney. Sentencing is set for Monday, June 6th, when Devine will face a maximum sentence of twenty years. A civil lawsuit is also pending.
An unconfirmed report from industry watcher DigiTimes suggests Apple may have been forced to reduce its first-quarter iPad production by as much as 50%. The report cites upstream component makers in claiming Apple’s first-quarter iPad 2 production volume has been revised down from between 400,000 and 600,000 units to between 300,000 and 400,000 units. The new lower production targets are allegedly the result of display panel shortages and last-minute specification changes Apple made ahead of production. Earlier rumors suggested Apple’s spec changes might delay the launch of Apple’s iPad 2, but DigiTimes claims the tablet is still on track for a second-quarter release. Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPad tablet at a media event next week. More →
In case you haven’t been paying attention, Microsoft’s Kinect is the premier gift for gamers this holiday season. Microsoft sold over 2.5 million Kinect units in less than a month, and reception has been phenomenal around the world; to the point where several markets are seeing demand that outweighs supply. Preliminary reports suggested that Microsoft might be manufacturing shortages to build hype — an accusation that follows short supply of any popular tech toy — but Microsoft execs in the U.K. were willing to set the record straight. Neil Thompson, Microsoft’s general manager for Xbox U.K. and Ireland, confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that the shortages are “absolutely not” a ploy.
“The choices you always have are: do we launch in November or do we wait until February, March when we could hit some bigger launch numbers but then we miss Christmas. It takes time to scale,” Thompson told GamesIndustry.biz. “It’s absolutely not a strategy, we want to get the product into consumers hands as quickly as we can because we think it’s exciting, it’s innovative. We wanted to do that for Christmas and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve built a really strong supply and resupply chain over the coming weeks.”
Despite shortages, Microsoft expects to sell 5 million Kinect sensors in 2010. More →
Say it ain’t so! There’s a rumor going around this afternoon that Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile were forced to abruptly end all pre-orders of the Motorola DROID X. As we understand it, the problem is that the number of units requested by Android-crazed customers greatly exceeded the number of handsets that will be on-hand come launch day. We’ve not been able to independantly confirm this, so does anyone have first hand knowledge of what’s going on? More →
We’re not too sure what’s going on here, but all of a sudden finding a HTC Droid Incredible for sale has become virtually impossible. No longer proudly on display on Verizon’s homepage, the only way to find the phone is to do a manual search for it. It’s still listed as available for sale, but clicking on the “buy” button redirects to a page which screams in bold letters that “the selection you made is unavailable at this time.” Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam recently bemoaned that his company was unable to keep the device in stock thanks in part to a shortage of AMOLED displays from Samsung. But still…pulling the phone from the website because it’s sold out? That’s just strange.
Anything you want to tell us, Verizon?
UPDATE: According to Verizon, this is all just one big misunderstanding. Verizon is now giving away free 2GB microSD cards with the sale of each Droid Incredible. Because of this, the order number on the website had to be changed. This didn’t happen right away thus explaining perceived lack of availability.
Thanks Jinny and JoeBold! More →
Speaking at the Reuters Global Technology Summit on Thursday, Lee Wong-jong, VP of marketing for Samsung, said that the global shortage of OLED displays will continue in foreseeable future as demand has greatly outpaced supply. Said Lee, “demand for high-end displays is very strong and we may continue to fail to meet all customer requirements, even after expanding capacity by seven-fold, until next year.” Such delays are part of the reason Verizon is having great difficulties meeting sales quotas with the HTC Droid Incredible. Last week Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said the failure of Samsung and other part suppliers to deliver crucial components were the reason the Droid Incredible has yet to outsell the Motorola DROID. To combat this, Samsung recently committed $2.15 billion through 2012 to create the largest fleet of AMOLED displays. But in the meantime, delays will be the new reality as smartphone sales for 2010 are expected to be 50% higher than in 2009. More →
An inadequate supply of parts is partly to blame for widespread shortages of Droid Incredible, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said on Friday. Having been unable to stockpile enough key components such as the WVGA capacitive display assemblies manufactured by Samsung, entire shipments of the HTC-made Android smartphone are selling out within hours of their arrival at retail stores. According to McAdam, the shortage is so dire that his company “had to pull way back” on deliveries in order to focus on online sales. Had there not been such a dearth of handsets available, McAdam said the Incredible would have outsold its predecessor, the Motorola DROID; some 100,000 units of the Incredible were sold during the first two days of sale. As of this morning, Verizon’s website claims that orders for the Incredible will be fulfilled by June 3rd. More →
Things have heated up quite a bit since Sprint confirmed to us that the Palm Pre is likely to be in short supply when it launches this weekend. As such, if you’re one of the many future Pre addicts who can’t wait to get your hands on Palm’s first webOS-powered device you may want to consider dusting off the old camping gear. According to tinyComb, lines for the Pre are already beginning to form outside Sprint shops. Ok fine — one guy is parked outside one shop rocking a sign that reads “First”, but who knows how many could join him before the week is through? Here’s what the anonymous Pre hound had to say:
I’ve been so disappointed with Sprint since my parents got me a plan three years ago. I hear there is only going to be four phones at each spot, and I’m getting mine!
Good luck to you, sir. Hit the jump for more shots.