Sony delays launch of 3D camcorder due to parts shortage

Earthquake-related disruption is blamed for a one month delay to Sony's 3D Handycam

Sony is delaying the launch of its 3D Handycam video camera by roughly a month due to difficulty securing parts following the March 11 earthquake in Japan.

The magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami halted factories and disrupted the distribution networks and supply chains on which Japanese electronics makers rely. For Sony, the knock-on effect of this disruption has been a shortage of at least one component for the new camcorders.

A Sony spokesman wouldn't elaborate on the component or components in question.

The camcorder was previously due to launch this month, but will now be available in Japan from May 13. Revised launch dates for other markets were not immediately available from the company's headquarters in Tokyo.

The HDR-T10 Handycam was first unveiled at January's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and is distinctive for its dual lenses. Behind the lenses are dual image sensors and processors, which add to the complexity and bulk of the camcorder but, according to Sony, result in a superior picture compared to single-lens 3D camcorders.

Other features include a screen that shows 3D images without the need for special glasses. (Video of the camcorder on show at CES is available on YouTube.)

In the U.S., the camcorder will cost around US$1,500.

It's the second Sony group announcement this week of quake-related disruptions to product plans. On Tuesday, Sony Ericsson said it faces difficulty obtaining some parts for high-end cell phones due to the earthquake. As a result, supplies of its flagship Xperia Arc, Xperia Play and Xperia Neo phones will be affected in the current quarter.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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