Apple, Lenovo, & Toshiba Facing Supply Problems Due To Japan Quake?
As Japan continues to deal with the aftermath of the earthquake that struck the northern part of the country last week, concerns are growing among manufacturers who have plants in Japan and who source parts from Japanese manufacturers. Numerous gadget companies including Apple, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba face delays and manufacturing halts due to aftershocks and rolling power outages.
Reuters is reporting that one of Toshiba's small LCD display factories near Tokyo will be closed for a month while they make repairs to equipment that was knocked out of alignment and wait for aftershocks to subside. Hitachi has also stopped production of small LCD displays at its factory citing power outages and damages from the quake. Among other devices, these small displays are used in cars and phones. While car manufacturing plants in Japan have also been shut down for the time being, the phone market around the world hasn't and it's likely these shutdowns will eventually impact the global market.
Lenovo's long lasting batteries are sourced from Japan and the company is already concerned about the short supply. Sony manufactures batteries for numerous devices, including laptops, in Japan, and has shut down several factories. iSuppli reports that the iPad 2's new super slim battery is manufactured by Apple Japan, but assembled in China, so it, too, could face shortages.
Several other parts of the iPad 2 also come from Japan according to iSuppli, including its flash memory module, RAM, and electronic compass. While the flash memory and RAM could be sourced from other manufacturing plants, the electronic compass is a delicate and specifically calibrated part which iSuppli believes doesn't easily lend itself to alternative sourcing.