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Thursday, June 24, 2010, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

iPad, iPhone 4 supply issues expected to continue for Apple

Demand for both the iPhone 4 and iPad has constrained the availability of supplies from Apple's overseas partners, suggesting shortages could continue for some time.

Citing sources in the supply chain, Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes reported Thursday that Apple's partners, including Foxlink, have been unable to meet demand. The issues have resulted in lingering limited availability of the iPad since it first launched in the U.S. in early April.

With Thursday's launch of the iPhone 4 and incredible demand for the new handset, sources said the supply issues are only expected to worsen.

The chairman of Foxlink was questioned about supply issues at a recent event, but declined to comment.

Ming-Chi Kuo, research senior analyst with DigiTimes, said that the retail channel has experienced tight supply for display panels thanks to the success of the iPad. The issues are expected to ease in the third quarter of 2010.

Kuo said that Apple ordered between 3.5 million and 3.8 million iPads in the first half of 2010, and will order close to 9 million in the second half of the year. Orders for the Wi-Fi-only iPad are expected to exceed those for the 3G-capable model.

Supply issues with the iPad forced Apple to delay the international launch of the device until the end of May. And Apple sold 600,000 iPhone 4 preorders on its first day, selling out of its entire inventory and pushing new orders back to an estimated July 14 ship date.

The DigiTimes report also noted that Apple is in negotiations with China's Founder to provide e-book content to the nation of over a billion. Kuo said he believes Apple wants to localize its content to fit the cultures of different regions, and hopes to make a splash in the China e-book market.