Manufacturers want their gear to be popular, and they want consumers to line up to buy. The problem with being too popular is that it can be hard to keep enough stock on hand to supply the stores that are selling the hardware in droves. This is the issue Apple is having with many of its new products. The iPhone 4 was nearly impossible to get when it first launched with some people waiting weeks or months to be able to purchase the smartphones.
Apple is having the same issue with the supply of its tablet, the iPad 2, in some areas. The popularity of the tablet and shortage of needed components means that Apple and its suppliers are having a hard time keeping up with demand. DigiTimes reports that Foxconn is having a shortage not only of some materials needed for Apple's iPhone 4 and iPad 2 construction, but a shortage of labor as well. The shortages are reportedly at the Foxconn Chengdu, China plant.
The shortage of supplies and labor are likely to affect supplies of the Apple gear in Q2 according to sources. Part of the reason for supply shortages is the earthquakes that racked Japan not long ago. Foxconn says that it is arranging its production lines and labor to meet the needs of its clients. Some of the needed components that are in short supply include power amplifiers and memory. These shortages will make it hard for Foxconn to meet Apple's demand for 2.5-3 million units each month of the quarter for the iPad 2.