Taiwan's Asustek Computer complained on Tuesday of a shortage of Intel central processing units (CPUs) for laptops, but said it didn't expect the problem to affect its sales.
"The biggest shortage in notebook components is in CPUs, Intel CPUs. Intel isn't meeting demand," said Jerry Shen, president of Asustek, answering questions at an investors conference in Beitou, Taiwan.
As well as manufacturing its own brand of computers in the Far East, Asustek also manufactures devices for other brands, including (according to some reports), Apple. An Intel chip shortage is unlikely to only be affecting one vendor.
The statement highlights the persistent problem laptop makers have faced this year in trying to procure certain parts. Strong demand for mobile computers has caused a shortage of small LCD (liquid crystal display) screens and small hard disc drives (HDD), laptop makers have complained. The recall of around 10 million laptop batteries containing cells manufactured by Sony has also kept these vital parts in short supply since last year.
Intel could not immediately be reached for comment.
Back-to-school sales in September, and the run-up to the end-of-year holiday season are hot times for people to buy new laptops, with hype surrounding new operating system releases from Apple and Microsoft generating more demand.
Laptop sales are expected to hit record highs, and some companies believe the market will grow by around 30 per cent next year.
Supplies of certain laptop parts could become more plentiful once the peak season ends and demand slows down.
In the meantime, laptop makers have had to keep up with suppliers by maintaining relationships and building inventory when they can.
"Our relationship with Intel is good so we don't have a big problem, but if it wasn't so good, our troubles might be worse," said Shen, of the CPU issue.