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BlackBerry PlayBook delayed as Apple iPad squirrels away all the screens

The BlackBerry PlayBook has been delayed for a month because Apple has hoarded all the touchscreens.

The BlackBerry PlayBook hasn't even hit shops, and it's already been dealt a serious blow by the Apple iPad 2. RIM's BlackBerry tablet is reportedly delayed for a month because Apple is hoarding all the touchscreens.

Business website DigiTimes reports touchscreen makers are whispering Apple had bought most of the touchscreens being manufactured. The screen shortage has delayed the PlayBook's launch for a month until mid-April.

The recent disasters in Japan may have been a factor in the delay, although Wired reports Apple's main supplier Hon Hai was unaffected.

Extra time spent testing the software also reportedly held up the launch. And yet the software still isn't ready -- the PlayBook won't have email, calendar and contact apps when it launches.

The PlayBook is starting to sound to us like it could be a day late and a dollar short. Sure, it's a high-specced and feature-packed device: it packs a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 3-megapixel camera on the front and a 5-megapixel snapper on the back. It also offers multi-tasking and Flash support, which the iPad can't. But those impressive specs will probably drive up the price and batter the battery.

The PlayBook launches in the US on 19 April. A UK launch is expected in June -- we'll keep you posted on the date and price. Make your play in the comments: can the PlayBook overcome the delays to give the iPad a good kicking, or is RIM's tablet all played out?