Quake May Cause iPad Part Shortage

Toshiba shut down a flash memory facility
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2011 2:58 PM CDT
Customers try the iPad 2 at the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York, March 11, 2011.   (Getty Images / AFP PHOTO)

(Newser) – The earthquake that rocked Japan may also put a dent into Apple’s iPad supply, a financial analyst warned yesterday. Two key iPad 2 components—its super-thin battery and its flash memory—are manufactured in Japan, research firm HIS iSuppli noted. Toshiba, which makes the device’s flash memory, had to briefly shut down one flash memory manufacturing facility, and has warned that it might face distribution hurdles, reports Reuters.

The battery, meanwhile, is so unusual that it likely relies on advanced manufacturing technologies that would be hard to secure elsewhere. Apple’s not the only company in trouble, either; Sony today announced that six of its plants in Japan remain closed, and that the company has evacuated all staff from them, according to the Wall Street Journal. The affected plants make a variety of devices, components, and products, including lithium ion batteries and Blu-Ray discs.

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