Motorola blames phone shortages on camera components

Motorola has been unable to keep up with demand for its latest line of integrated camera phones because of component sourcing...

Motorola has been unable to keep up with demand for its latest line of integrated camera phones because of component sourcing problems, but said it has solved the problem in time for the Christmas-shopping rush.

The V300 and V500 phones have been shipping in the US, but in lower volumes than anticipated because of problems in securing the camera components from one of its suppliers, said Alan Buddendeck, a Motorola spokesman. The V600 will be released "imminently", the company said.

Motorola uses a camera built into the display portion of its clamshell phones, which means that camera needs to be up to one-third smaller than other designs that use a camera in the hinge of the phone.

There are a limited number of suppliers that can deliver this particular type of component, and the company ran into problems in securing the necessary parts from its main supplier.

Two additional suppliers have been identified that can produce the smaller camera parts, and the situation is improving, Buddendeck said. The V300 and V500 are also shipping in Europe, and demand is strong, he added.

"Motorola is not alone in struggling to get to volume. The market's on fire," said Ben Wood, an analyst with Gartner. Wood identified Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and Siemens as other mobile phone manufacturers that have given notice of supply problems.

Motorola said the shortage of integrated camera components is affecting the entire industry, but it was especially hit because of the unique cameras it uses in its phone.

Analysts raised concerns in September about Motorola's plan to bring the V300, V500, and V600 phones to the US in late November, saying the planned ship date would create problems for carriers in trying to get the phones out in time for the holiday shopping season.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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