The shortage of 15-inch LCD flat panels is making life increasingly difficult for Apple and its all-in-one iMac.
iMac distributors Ingram Micro and Tech Data are complaining that they have order backlogs of between 10 and 18 weeks for the computer, while some independent dealers may not get deliveries for up to four and a half months.
As a result some distributors which have received a supply are jacking up the price, arguing that the demand justifies it.
Although an Apple spokesman declined to comment, analysts believe that the shortage is caused by the constricted supply of flat panels, which some have said is linked to radiation problems.
Last year the market was overflowing with cheap panels but, at the end of 2001, there was a sudden shortage.
With its built-in flat panel the iMac has a specific technical specification, making substitutes difficult to find.
Some experts believe that Apple may have underestimated demand for its latest product which received a major boost following a Time magazine cover story.
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