Apple Could Face iPad 2 Component Shortages

Components of iPad2 from Japan include battery, electronic compass, flash memory, DRAM and touchscreen.

Due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Apple could face shortages of components for the iPad 2. "The aftermath of the Japanese earthquake may cause logistical disruptions and supply shortages in Apple Inc.'s iPad 2, which employs several components manufactured in the disaster-stricken country," IHS iSuppli said.

IHS iSuppli, which conducted a "teardown" analysis of the iPad 2, said the components included the battery from Apple Japan, an electronic compass from AKM Semiconductor, NAND flash memory from Toshiba, DRAM dynamic random access memory from Elpida Memory and touchscreen glass "likely" from Asahi Glass.

It said some of the suppliers were undamaged but they were likely to face logistical difficulties as well as problems getting raw materials.

"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," IHS iSuppli said.

"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," it added.

IHS iSuppli said some of the components could be sourced elsewhere. It said NAND flash memory, for example, is available from South Korea's Samsung and Micron Technology of the United States.

"Similarly, the Elpida DRAM component can be alternatively sourced from Samsung," it said.

The iPad 2 went on sale in the United States a week ago and is scheduled to hit stores in around two dozen other countries on March 25.

Apple announced this week it was delaying the release of the iPad 2 in Japan because of the disaster.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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