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Smartphone manufacturer Apple might be behind the shortage affecting Nintendo Switch supplies
Apple could be to blame for the ongoing Nintendo Switch stock shortage, a new report has sensationally claimed.
As the Cupertino-based company readies itself for the launch of its next flagship smartphone – purportedly dubbed Apple iPhone 8 – Nintendo is being forced to limit its sales targets for its latest games console, Nintendo Switch.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Japanese company has limited itself to a sales target of 10 million units for the year, though it really wants to produce double that number.
Nintendo purportedly told suppliers that it hopes to produce almost 20 million units of its hugely-successful Switch console in the year ending March 2018, people involved in the discussions were quoted as saying.
However the company's official sales target for the year is 10 million, strong demand suggests it could sell more units – provided it can make them.
The problem facing Nintendo is an industry-wide shortage for components used in smartphones, computer servers and other digital devices, the report in the Wall Street Journal claims.
This shortage includes the NAND flash memory chips that store data, liquid-crystal displays, and the small included in the Switch’s hand-held controllers used to create the advanced HD Rumble feature.
The Nintendo Switch is halfway between a home games console and a handheld portable
Manufacturer Toshiba has confirmed that demand for its NAND chips is "overwhelmingly greater" than its current supply, thanks to demand from Apple and other smartphone manufacturers.
The Nintendo Switch is both a mobile and home game console in one.
It is the seventh home games console developed and shipped by Nintendo, and follows the Wii U, which is widely considered a commercial flop.
The Switch shipped more than 2.74 million units in its first month – smashing Nintendo's projected 2 million unit shipment – and making it the fastest-selling home console in the history of the company.
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Stock shortages have been rife in the weeks and months following the initial launch.
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GameStop employee Eric Bright said that the Nintendo Switch was exceeding expectations, and that allocations were selling out in hours.
Speaking to Forbes, he said: "It's exceeding our expectations. We knew it would be a high-demand product, but our Switch allocations are selling out not in days, but in hours…the demand is so high that consumers have to react quickly to be able to get their hands on them."
GameStop believes this will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future, which will make it difficult to get hold of stock.
"Right now we're not seeing sales going down at all, and I would expect that to continue for quite some time," he added.
It's been a similar situation in the UK, where the Nintendo Switch – particularly the grey model used in the vast majority of the publicity campaign – has been hard to find.
Nintendo Switch has exceed all sale expectations, with Nintendo struggling to keep up with demand
Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 – which will be released later this year to mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone – looks set to tick-off a number of long-standing Wish List features for Apple fans, including wireless charging, and an improved waterproof design.
The next-generation iPhone will also include OIS, Optical Image Stabilisation, to both lens used in the rear dual-camera set-up.
Apple will also purportedly include 3D sensing facial recognition functionality in a dual front-facing camera set-up, as well as better speakers..
Elsewhere, Apple iPhone 8 will reportedly include an all-new glass design closer to the iPhone 4 than the current generation.
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Apple iPhone 8 will debut a brand-new all-glass look, with a curved OLED display
It is also expected to ship with an OLED display with True Tone, a technology that Apple debuted with its 9.7inch iPad Pro.
Apple is expected to debut the iPhone 8 alongside the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, which will feature only a few minor upgrades, in September.
According to JPMorgan, these iterative updates will have some slight aesthetic changes when compared to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The analyst note claims Apple will move from anodised aluminium so that it can include wireless charging capabilities.