iPad2 may have a supply problem

March 18, 2011 at 1:03 PM
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CUPERTINO, Calif., March 18 (UPI) -- Electronic parts monitor iSuppli said production of Apple's recently launched iPad2 could be curtailed due to the earthquake in Japan.

The firm said at least five critical parts of the tablet computer were made in Japan, including a NAND flash made by Toshiba Corp, the touch screen overlay glass, produced by Asahi Glass Co., and the battery, produced by Apple Japan Inc., The Apple Blog reported Friday.

A 9-magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami March 11 left thousands of people dead and shut down many of Japan's industrial businesses.

The company iSuppli breaks down products to their component parts and says identifying where the parts originate is not always possible.

The Apple Blog said there are alternative suppliers for some of the iPad2's components.

The NAND flash can be produced by Samsung in South Korea and by Micron Technology, a U.S. company.

Industry analyst Wayne Lam at IHS, however, said it was unlikely the battery for the iPad2 could be made anywhere but Japan.

"The iPad2's lithium-ion polymer battery is unusually thin," he said. "It likely requires advanced battery cell manufacturing technologies that reside in Japan," he said.

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