Chemical Reaction: IPod Is Short Key Material

A representative from Apple Inc. recently called Kureha Corp.’s offices in the U.S. The problem: Apple was facing tight supplies of lithium-ion batteries used in its popular iPods, and they traced the supply bottleneck to the relatively obscure Japanese chemicals maker.

Kureha, which has a 70 percent share of the global market for a crucial polymer used in lithium-ion batteries, had to shut its factory in Iwaki–near the quake’s epicenter–after the March 11 disaster struck. It is the only place where Kureha makes this particular polymer.

Its chief executive said Japan’s natural disaster would accelerate the company’s plans to move more of its production overseas. “For a company like Kureha, this is the only way of surviving,” said Takao Iwasaki in an interview on Monday.

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Read the rest of this post on the original site


Must-Reads from other Websites

Panos Mourdoukoutas

Why Apple Should Buy China’s Xiaomi

Paul Graham

What I Didn’t Say

Benjamin Bratton

We Need to Talk About TED

Mat Honan

I, Glasshole: My Year With Google Glass

Chris Ware

All Together Now

Corey S. Powell and Laurie Gwen Shapiro

The Sculpture on the Moon

About Voices

Along with original content and posts from across the Dow Jones network, this section of AllThingsD includes Must-Reads From Other Websites — pieces we’ve read, discussions we’ve followed, stuff we like. Six posts from external sites are included here each weekday, but we only run the headlines. We link to the original sites for the rest. These posts are explicitly labeled, so it’s clear that the content comes from other websites, and for clarity’s sake, all outside posts run against a pink background.

We also solicit original full-length posts and accept some unsolicited submissions.

Read more »