Screen supply problems set to hit iPad production

LG Display says it will not be able to meet demand from Apple for LCD screens for the iPad, and is warning that the device’s launch may be delayed in some countries.

The company says it’s experiencing weak demand from TV manufacturers, and has warned that it may cut its LCD production next month.

But, it says, it will struggle to keep pace with iPhone production, even with the relevant production lines running at full capacity.

It reckons it’s not likely to be able to catch up with demand for the iPad screens until the middle of next year.

“Demand [from Apple] keeps growing and we can’t meet it all. Apple may have to delay launches of the iPad for some countries due to tight component supplies and strong demand,” LG Display CEO Kwon Young-soo told Reuter.

“We are considering increasing production lines for iPad products but overall supply is likely to remain tight until early next year.”

iPad sales show no sign of slowing. The company’s sold over three million of the tablets already, and research firm ABI recently predicted that it would shift as many as ten million by the end of the year.

The device’s success caught ABI on the hop too, as it had earlier been predicting sales of just four million for the year. iSuppli made the same mistake, recently raising its forecast from just over seven million to nearly 13.

Apple has already promised to launch the iPad in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and the Netherlands this week. Other countries may find they have to wait a bit longer than expected.