Speculation is increasing that Asus’ tablet/smartphone hybrid device, the Padfone, has had its launch delayed, due to production being affected by the shortage of Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors.
The Padfone has been a long time coming, as it was initially shown as a concept this time last year, before disappearing until Mobile World Congress in March, where a redesigned model was made official.
Its three-in-one design sees an Android smartphone with a 4.3-inch screen slip inside a tablet with a 10.1-inch screen, before attaching to a keyboard dock to create a mini laptop.
At the time, the release date was given as April, but as it’s now the first week of May, that self-imposed deadline has been missed.
A tweet from Asus Indonesia, once translated, warned customers that Qualcomm’s chip shortage is affecting all customers, and that “unfortunately” it’s used inside the Padfone. A sad face ended the tweet, suggesting the product has been delayed.
Qualcomm warned manufacturers it couldn’t meet the demand for its S4 chips back in April, saying it had underestimated their popularity, and that it would be pushing some of its other processors instead. For a device as close to release as the Padfone, swapping in another chip probably isn’t an option.
While the shortage has already impacted other devices, such as the HTC One S, analysts don’t expect the situation to have any long-lasting effect.
If the Padfone has been delayed longer than just a few weeks, then we’d expect Asus to make a statement at some point soon.