Microsoft facing Surface tablet chassis supply issues?

Microsoft SurfaceMicrosoft’s new Surface tablet will sport a VaporMg case made out of magnesium. Digitimes is reporting that the supplier chosen for the VaporMg case is having trouble mass producing it. Described as a China-based “second-tier” supplier, it is facing low yield supply issues that are apparently jeopardizing availability of the tablet.

The problem is significant enough that Microsoft is looking at its supplier’s manufacturing process to see what improvements it can identify to rectify the issue.

The report adds that Microsoft had initially wanted to go with a unibody magnesium-aluminum case. It apparently approached a number of metal chassis makers and asked for 5 million cases by the end of the year. None could meet the demand, forcing Microsoft to switch to Plan B.

The Microsoft Surface is expected to launch along with Windows 8 in late October. It will be available in both Windows RT and Windows 8 versions. Pricing has not been announced but has been described as “competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC.” Rumours suggest the price will start at US$599 for the Windows RT model and US$799 for the Windows 8 one.

Read more: Digitimes