Report: Apple Supply Chain Struggling to Meet iPad 2 Orders
The March earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused little in the way of supply chain troubles for Apple in its last quarter. The next may be different.
Upstream component suppliers tell occasionally reliable Taiwanese trade mag Digitimes that labor and material shortages at Foxconn’s Chinese plants could undermine Apple’s aggressive iPad 2 shipment goals in the current quarter. Evidently the catastrophe in Japan has caused a shortage of both power amplifiers and memory for the tablet. That, combined with a lack of manpower at Foxconn’s Chengdu facility, is making it difficult for the manufacturer to satisfy Apple’s orders for 2.5 million to 3 million iPad 2s each month in the second quarter. Which is not to say that the company will fail to meet them–Foxconn says it’s doing all that it can to satisfy its clients’ needs–just that it’s more of a struggle than it might have been otherwise.
So the situation at Apple’s overseas manufacturing partners continues to be uncertain, just as the company said it would be during its last earnings call. “I am confident we’re going to produce a very large number for the quarter,” COO Tim Cook said. “Whether that will be enough to meet demand, I don’t know.”
Meanwhile, iPad ship times at Apple’s online store remain at 1 to 2 weeks.