Labor and Materials Shortages Could Impact iPhone 4 Shipments

If you are currently sporting an iPhone 3GS or older model and are thinking you might not be able to hold out for the next product refresh, you may want to grab an iPhone 4 while it’s still available.

DigiTimes is reporting that Taiwan-based manufacturing firm Foxconn is facing a shortage of both labor and materials at its China plants. This will likely affect shipments of Apple’s new iPad 2 tablet and the popular iPhone 4…

Foxconn has publicly addressed the rumor, emphasizing that they are doing everything in their power to satisfy their clients’ needs. The manufacturer, who is no stranger to bad publicity, declined comment on whether the labor shortages will cause delays in shipments, but it seems imminent.

Although Foxconn claims that they have experience “arranging manpower to assist its clients in reaching their goals,” they might have trouble dealing with the overwhelming demand for Apple products. Last quarter, the Cupertino company shipped 18 million iPhones worldwide, and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.

Combine the manufacturer’s struggles with ongoing issues in wake of the disasters that Japan experienced earlier this year, and we might see some serious supply constraints for the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 in the coming months.

I for one find it ironic that the company that forces employees to sign the “I will not commit suicide” waver is experiencing labor shortages. The real questions here is, will these problems effect the launch date of the next iPhone?

What do you think?