LCD shortage squeezes notebook vendors

LCD shortage squeezes notebook vendors

The LCD panel shortage is claiming more victims as distributors grow frustrated over large backorders for certain models of notebook computers.

Distributors of Toshiba notebooks said that they had placed large volumes of backorders with the vendor for several notebook products, but were experiencing significant delays due to the LCD component shortage.

Other high volume notebook vendors had also reported delays.

General manager of Adelaide-based distributor BMS Technology, Anthony Szabo, said backorders on Toshiba began at the beginning of January. “The issue is also being complicated by new models due to come out and older models reaching end of life,” he said.

General manager of Toshiba’s Information Systems division, Ralph Stadus, said that stock shortages were affecting about four or five of Toshiba's 25 current models.

These models tended to feature 14-inch screens or certain hard drives that were currently in short supply, he said.

Newly-recruited notebook business manager for BenQ, Laurie White, said the shortage in LCD screens for desktop computers had created a flow-on affect that is now causing shortages of panels for notebooks.

“The use of 15-inch LCD panels for some desktop models has soaked up a lot of the supply,” he said. “While most notebooks use thinner LCD panels, there is a demand crossover in the middle space when you start looking at models like Desk-notes. That has a pull affect on the supply for notebook LCDs.”

ASI Solutions director, Maree Lowe, said the panel shortage was affecting everybody in the industry.

“The LCD shortage is the biggest concern at the moment,” she said. “All the PC vendors are scrambling to satisfy demand and hold prices. There was some rather stupid and aggressive pricing on LCD’s in October last year and many of us knew what was coming.”

For more on this story, see this week's issue of ARN.

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