Qualcomm eyes the e-reader market

Apple has underestimated demand for the iPhone 4 and is facing shortages of its iconic device, but has refused to commit to saying when its supply chain issues will be resolved.

In a question and answer session with financial analysts following its Q1 earnings announcement, Apple COO Tim Cook – currently running the firm as Steve Jobs prepares to take a medical leave of absence – said that Apple had not done enough to address demand for the iPhone 4.

“We do still have a significant backlog,” he admitted. “We are working around the clock to build more. I feel great that the demand is so high but at this point I’m not going to predict when supply and demand will meet.”

“We could not make enough in the quarter and we would’ve loved to have ended with more channel inventory than we did,” added CFO Peter Oppenheimer.

Apple’s issues are thought to have arisen from supply constraints around DRAM, NAND Flash, high def displays and LCDs, said Cook, where pricing for raw materials is currently increasing due to growing economic strength.

Cook went on to add that Apple had identified areas where it could sign agreements with components builders to secure adequate supplies, as it did in 2005 when it paid out $1bn to secure Flash memory stock.

However he declined to disclose exactly where Apple was considering making a move.

Alex Scroxton, Microscope

Tags: Displays, E Ink, e-readers, OLEDs, Qualcomm

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