updated 12:06 pm EDT, Wed August 15, 2012
Blames delayed components, may re-enter later
Toshiba has decided not to release a Windows RT-based tablet at the operating system's launch, citing delays in the component supply chain. In a statement to CNET, Toshiba said it "will focus on bringing Windows 8 products to market" instead, and may release an RT-based tablet in the future after "monitoring market conditions."
The component delays for the RT models are claimed to "make a timely launch impossible." When asked if the late components were the Texas Instruments processor, Toshiba refused to confirm it. When Microsoft limited the number of tablet manufacturers that can offer Windows RT devices by forcing ARM chipset vendors to choose two OEM partners for the launch, Texas Instruments opted for Toshiba while not confirming their other choice.
The component shortage Toshiba experienced is part of a growing problem in the industry, brought about in some measure by Apple's buying clout, massive demand and ability to pre-order parts for products it knows it will be building in the future, unlike its competitors. The iPad maker's moves have proven to be a competitive advantage both financially and operationally. Additionally, some Microsoft partners have expressed concern about the company making hardware that expressly challenges their own offerings.
Lenovo continues to be working with NVIDIA for its own tablet, which is set for launch on October 26. This is the same date for the release of Windows 8 and also Microsoft's own tablet, the Surface.