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Transformer trampled

Every day more evidence amasses of just how difficult the tablet market is for everyone except Apple. The Motorola Xoom and BlackBerry PlayBook have both failed to make much of an impact, though neither is to be written off just yet.

Another possible contender, Asus, has had to delay its global launches of its Transformer tablet because of a shortage of touchscreen components - reportedly because of the overwhelming popularity of the iPad 2 keeping all the touchscreen makers in Asia busy. Whether the iPad 2 is really to blame or not we don't know, but the latest reports suggest Asus' component shortage is real, and really serious.

Apparently, Asus can only source enough kit to make about 10,000 Transformers a month. It wants to be making 300,000 a month. That's a heck of a shortage.

The good news is that the shortage is expected to ease by mid-June, so the Transformers' predicted June European launch will hopefully take place according to plan. But it's possible that by then the Transformer will have been written off as just another failed Android contender. Round two to Apple, looks like.

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