Apple's iPad could put a squeeze on the number of components available to an Amazon-built Android tablet, according to a new DigiTimes report.
Demand for Apple's iPad could hamper Amazon's efforts to
manufacture an Android-based tablet, reports DigiTimes.
According to unnamed "industry sources" speaking to the
, Amazon will take delivery of its first batch of touch panels
in September, with an ultimate aim of shipping 4 million tablet units by the
end of 2011.
Manufacturers involved apparently include Wintek, TPK
Holdings, HannStar Display and J Touch. However, both TPK Holdings and Wintek
serve as component makers for Apple, raising the specter of a production crunch
in the course of supplying both companies.
"TPK, a major supplier of touch modules for Apple's iPad
tablet PCs, has been reluctant to make a commitment to supplying touch panels
to Amazon on concerns of capacity," read the DigiTimes piece, citing those
unnamed sources. "Winek has also landed a fair amount of orders from Apple
recently. ... Its production schedule will
become tight in the second half of the year and it may be difficult for the
company to accommodate orders from Amazon."
The burgeoning growth of the tablet industry poses a
challenge to parts suppliers. In April, DigiTimes reported that Research In
Motion's PlayBook tablet was delayed due to Apple swallowing up manufacturers'
touch-panel capacity for the iPad. Research firm IDC has estimated that
worldwide media-tablet shipments will increase to more than 46 million units in
2014, a compound growth rate of 57.4 percent.
Even the largest manufacturers, after all, boast only so
much capacity-and with companies ranging from Samsung and Hewlett-Packard to
Motorola and Asus all anxious to carve off their own piece of the tablet
market, it's a near-certainty that pressure on supply channels will only
Many of those rivals' tablets have fizzled on the open
market-but Amazon.com, with its extensive media library and experience building
mobile devices, could represent a different breed of contender. Rumors of one
or two Amazon tablets have circulated for months.
"Most of our customers shop with us from desktop or laptop
computers, but people have a different posture with tablets," Amazon CEO Jeff
Bezos told investors at a June 7 shareholders meeting. "People leaning back on
their sofa, buying things from Amazon, is another tailwind for our business, so
I'm very excited about that."
In March, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Amazon
could sell as many as 2.4 million Android tablets in 2012, following a late
2011 launch. He based his information off a report by Creative Strategies
analyst Tim Bajarin, who wrote that Amazon is aiming to release at least one
Android tablet by the holidays. The question is whether Amazon-branded tablets
would radically cannibalize the market for the company's popular Kindle
e-reader, something deemed unlikely by Munster.
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