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Quake hits iPad 2 supply chain

Business news |
By eeNews Europe


The IHS iSuppli teardown analysis of the iPad 2 so far has been able to identify five parts sourced from Japanese suppliers: NAND flash from Toshiba Corp., DRAM made by Elpida Memory Inc., an electronic compass from AKM Semiconductor, the touch screen overlay glass likely from Asahi Glass Co. and the system battery from Apple Japan Inc.

”While some of these suppliers reported that their facilities were undamaged, delivery of components from all of these companies is likely to be impacted at least to some degree by logistical issues now plaguing most Japanese industries in the quake zone,” according to the firm.

”Suppliers are expected to encounter difficulties in getting raw materials supplied and distributed as well as in shipping out products. They also are facing difficulties with employee absences because of problems with the transportation system. The various challenges are being compounded by interruptions in the electricity supply, which can have a major impact on delicate processes, such as semiconductor lithography,” according to the firm.

These issues may come at a time when Apple is rushing to ramp up iPad 2 production to meet stronger-than expected demand for the device. The company this week announced that iPad shipments from the Apple Store have been delayed by one week from previous lead times because of the surge in demand.

However, the NAND devices used in the iPad are available from alternative sources, including South Korean semiconductor giant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and U.S. memory maker Micron Technology Inc. Similarly, the Elpida DRAM component can be alternatively sourced from Samsung.


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