iPhone demand will challenge suppliers

The expected popularity of the iPhone could create challenges for some of the device’s parts suppliers. According to analysts, Asian handset-component makers may see shortages of key components if the iPhone takes off quickly. “While niche firms from chip maker Toshiba in Japan to Germany’s Balda, a touch-panel supplier, stand to gain from the phone’s debut, analysts say parts makers need to be prepared to quickly ramp up output or risk shortages if the product is a quick success,” reports Reuters. “Companies at the greatest risk are makers of the NAND-style flash memory that will power the phones, as well as makers of product-specific components like the special touch panels that will set the iPhone apart from other more traditional cell phones.” Apple the iPhone in the U.S. in June, with a target of 10 million units in 2008.

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