The Tohoku earthquake that took place off of the coast of the Sendai region in Japan on Friday, March 11th, and the subsequent tsunamis and radiation problems, may lead to a large drop in the manufacturing of the iPad 2.
The damaged areas are not the ones that typically handle the production of the parts within the iPad 2. However, the difficulties in production could stem from tough transportation in the region, irregular shipping of the hardware (as well as pre-build materials) and the consistent rolling blackouts.
iSuppi, a research firm, has analyzed the iPad 2 and found that five essential components are manufactured in Japan. From GamesIndustry.biz, the pieces manufactured in the nation affected by the earthquake and following disasters:
NAND flash memory from Toshiba, DRAM from Elpida Memory, an electronic compass from AKM Semiconductor, the touchscreen overlay glass from Asahi Glass and the system battery from Apple Japan.
iSuppi has indicated that the manufacturing of the semiconductor is reliant on consistent, uninterrupted power and, therefore, cannot resume until the aftershocks from the quake are officially over. The research firm states that most parts can be outsourced to other locations for production; however, the compass and glass will be challenging on such short notice.
It’s impossible to compare the tragedies in the north eastern region of Japan to the shortage of a piece of tech hardware. That said, the slowed or halted rate of manufacture of the iPad 2’s hardware in Japan will act conversely to an economy that could use the surge. The work lost translates not only to lost hardware, but to lost income for the Japanese nation in a time of crisis.
As it’s always been with this international event, our thoughts go out to the people affected by these immense tragedies.