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Laptop industry hit by components shortage

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Laptop computer makers are bracing themselves for a components shortage due to significant dents in the supply chain brought on by massive recalls and heavy demand.

Semiconductor price tracker and electronics market researcher DRAMeXchange said the notebook industry was squeezed last quarter by a lack of key components including LCD panels, hard disc drives, batteries, and casings.

Its outlook for the next quarter is even bleaker:

"The situation could grow more serious in 3Q07, as quarterly shipments are expected to exceed 25.6 million, a quarter-on-quarter increase of 14.4 per cent," said DRAMeXchange.

It added that notebook manufacturers could also face a hike in component costs over the next five months or so because of supply chain shortages.

The impact on vendors may also hit consumers who, it predicts, could see less discounts and promotions.

Usually, notebook makers can expect shortages of one or two components and are therefore able to rejig the system's build accordingly to remain competitive on price.

However, DRAMeXchange's findings suggest a much more worrying picture for vendors because so many key components have been affected by the current shortage.

A number of factors have been accredited to the current worldwide supply dent.

Sony's recall of about 10 million laptop batteries and strong sales of LCD TVs have helped push the notebook manufacturing industry into a tight corner. ®

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