iSuppli identifies problematic components

Japanese quake threatens iPad 2 component supply

IHS iSuppli reported that the Japanese earthquake threaten the supply chain of the Apple iPad 2, potentially resulting in supply shortages.

The firm specialises in so-called teardowns to identify components in popular consumer electronics devices and pointed towards a number of parts sourced by Japanese component manufacturers.

Flash memory, RAM, touch screen glass and an electronic compass as well as the man battery were identified as Japanese sourced components.

iSuppli also said that while some suppliers had reported no damage to their facilities, deliver of components was likely to be impacted by logistic issues affecting most Japanese industries.

The company pointed out that alternative components could be sourced from a range of non-Japanese firms but added that the electronic compass was not easily replaceable.

"Compasses are sensitive to electromagnetic interference. Furthermore, the iPad 2’s compass works in close coordination with the tablet’s accelerometer and gyroscope. This makes it impossible to simply replace one manufacturer’s compass with another," said iSuppli analyst Jérémie Bouchaud.

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