burning question that many Visor owners have today is, "Where are all the
modules?" Although the Visor has been out almost a year, there are
less than fifteen non-eBook Springboard modules currently available, while
announced modules keep slipping past release dates. What's going
Two words -- component shortage. Almost every electronics maker
is feeling the effects of a global economy where the demand for parts like
LCD screens, flash memory and capacitors, is far greater than the supply.
Executives at AMD have
said that back orders for flash memory have already been sold out through 2001
. Between component shortages and Taiwanese earthquakes, it
seems like no electronic manufacturers are safe anymore.
Major PC makers, such as IBM and Dell, are forcasting lower profits
because of these shortages. Leading cellular phone makers Motorola,
Nokia, and Ericsson will be manufacturing fewer phones this year, with
Ericsson garnering a huge loss in its cell phone division. Palm's
sales plummeted during the second quarter because of a combination
of component shortages and the increasing success of the Handspring Visor.
So far, Handspring appears to have been immune to these component shortages. However, while the Visor is now easy to find on
store shelves, shipping dates on many announced Springboard modules keep on slipping. "Flash
memory shortage is something the entire industry could be facing for the
next 12-18 months," said Lee Epting, Handspring's Director
of Partner Programs & Business Development. "Regardless,
we are commited to helping our development partners get their products
to market. We are assessing the monthly requirements of our Springboard
developers and building those into our own forecasts for the flash manufacturers.
In some cases, we will take flash we have in supply at Handspring and allocate
it to our partners to help enable them to get to market sooner."
What can be done >>