People have been going on for years about how smartphones and other mobile gadgets with built-in cameras will ultimately replace standalone digital cameras. While we're still long way off from that happening, a recent report by Taiwanese IT journal DigiTimes predicts that high demand for Apple's iPhone and iPad devices will cause shortages of small-size LCD panels, which in turn will reduce digital camera shipments in Q2 2011.
According to DigiTimes:
Taiwan-based digital still camera (DSC) makers including Ability Enterprise, Altek, Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) and Asia Optical may see their DSC shipments in the second quarter lower than fore casted due to a shortage of small-size panel because of demand from Apple's iPhone and iPad, according to sources from upstream players.
The Taiwanese camera makers mentioned manufacture cameras for such vendors as Fujifilm, Kodak, Nikon, Sony, and Samsung, among others.
With Apple snapping up a huge portion of the supply chain, panel shortages are affecting not only camera vendors, but makers of iPad-competing tablets as well, which will also be competing with camera makers for the limited supply. This small-panel shortage comes at a time when there's already instability in the supply of other components, such as CCD sensors, as a result of the Japanese earthquake back in March.