Component shortages, supply chain woes hit Windows 7 launchIt seems like it's hard for a new smartphone to get off the ground without a supply chain issue these days. This time around, it's the new Windows Phone 7 - regarded by some analysts as Microsoft's last chance to make its mark in a market dominated by Apple, Google and Research in Motion.

Windows Phone 7 is a sleek new operating system which improves on the clunky and obsolete Windows Mobile 6.5; it builds on the minimalist Zune interface and has attracted largely positive reviews. It has already launched in the United Kingdom, and it will soon hit U.S. shores.

Its impact might be muted, though - according to a report in Mobile Today, Orange, the main UK partner of Microsoft, has had to compensate customers with gift cards due to a shortage of the launch devices, the HTC 7 Mozart and the Samsung Omnia 7.

"I was shocked when I heard the news. We are the lead partner for Windows Phone 7," an unnamed Orange manager told MT. "But I believe this is a manufacturer issue on a world-wide scale."

Business Insider speculated that a shortage of components for the touch screens might be to blame; as the magazine states, both Samsung and HTC ran into screen shortages due to supply chain issues. Mobile phone touch screens are compact, fragile and expensive pieces of technology - and they require thousands of components and different raw materials to construct.
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