updated 05:05 pm EDT, Mon May 2, 2011
Eee Pad Transformer shortage may limit it to 10K
ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer shortage might be even more severe than thought, sources maintained Monday. ASUS had planned to ship 300,000 units a month but was facing a component shortage that capped it at just 10,000 units, NetbookNews' German wing was told. Production wouldn't get to intended levels until at least mid-June.
The shortage wasn't due to pricing. Parts weren't available at any price, one contact said.
If accurate, the shortage would be even worse than thought. Initial talk had it limited to 100,000 units a month and recovering in May. ASUS' tablet was seen as possibly the most effective Android 3.0 tablet at $400 and strong reviews but has been virtually unavailable following a near immediate sellout owed to how few were in stores. Best Buy and other chains weren't promising any supply until May.
Suppliers have increasingly given indication that Apple's iPad 2 may be consuming much of the supply and could be responsible for ASUS' problems. Although the Taiwan firm's buying plans aren't known, Apple is much more aggressive than most in negotiating long-term buying deals where many others are more likely to buy on-the-spot and are vulnerable to shortages.
ASUS isn't known to have commented on any of the shortage rumors.