Shipping time for a new iPad is already set at 7-10 business days, but a shortage could be looming as parts manufacturers struggle to keep up with demand for orders from Apple. The latest company to signal it was having trouble is Korean company LG Display, who manufactures the 9.7 inch IPS LCD display found in the iPad.
LG reported it was currently running at full capacity, but would have to reduce production in August due to low demand for television screens. iPad screen production could be increased, however LG Display CEO Kwon Young-soo predicts that supplies will be tight until early 2011. Apple could be forced to find another supplier to augment production at LG is demand keeps up over the next several months.
Young-soo went so far as to say Apple might have to postpone its plans to release the iPad in more countries until pressure is relieved. With over 3.5 million units already sold, Apple recently released the iPad in nine additional countries on July 23. More markets are expected to get the iPad later this year.
The IPS LCD screen is a relatively new technology that is pushing the limits of production capacity due to Apple's high standards and the short supply of required components such as polarizers and other LCD panel parts. Similarly, many smart phone manufacturers are finding that touch screens can create a bottleneck in production when demand is at its peak.
iSuppli predicts that Sony Mobile Display and Sharp might be lining up to manufacture iPad-quality displays for Apple. Some Taiwanese display manufacturers are also upgrading their production facilities in order to start making higher quality LCD displays. Shortages in iPad supply are not likely to be alleviated until the end of 2010, especially with expected holiday demand later this year.