Analysts predict iPad 2 shortages after Japan quake
Mon, 21 Mar 2011 5:06a.m.
Market research group IHS iSuppli has said that the Japan earthquake could cause shortages of Apple's iPad 2 tablet computer.
The iSuppli analysts, who regularly do "teardown" analyses to determine what components are used inside consumer electronics, said they have identified at least five parts that come from Japan: storage and memory from Toshiba and Elpida Memory, an electronic compass from AKM Semiconductor, touch-screen overlay glass that is likely from Asahi Glass and a battery from Apple Japan.
ISuppli said some of these suppliers have said their facilities were not damaged by the earthquake or tsunami. However, they will likely be affected in some way by the resulting logistical problems in Japan, including intermittent electricity and hurdles to transporting raw materials and shipping out products, iSuppli said.
Aftershocks may also keep semiconductor facilities offline, iSuppli said.
The research group said Asahi Glass reported damage to several of its facilities.
Apple can order some of the components from alternate suppliers, the analysts said, including Samsung Electronics in South Korea and Micron Technology in the US. But iSuppli said it would be harder to find substitutes for the glass - which it believes is a new type of glass called Dragontrail from Asahi - and the compasses.
Apple is already facing more demand than expected for the iPad 2. Many stores sold out the first weekend it went on sale, and now people who order online will wait four or five weeks for the gadget to ship.
Apple, based in Cupertino, declined to comment.
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