Foxconn Blast Could Cost Apple a Half Million iPads

Published on May 24, 2011
by John Paczkowski

Evidently there’s some disagreement over the impact the deadly factory explosion at Foxconn’s Chengdu plant may have on iPad production. On Monday, consensus among analysts appeared to be that while the tragedy would obviously have some effect on production capacity, it would likely be a temporary one. Production at other facilities is already being ramped up to make up for any potential shortfalls, they argued, dismissing concerns that iPad inventory levels are at risk.

But according to IHS iSuppli, that’s a best-case scenario. The research outfit offers a decidely less optimistic view of the incident, suggesting that the disruption at Foxconn could cost Apple as many as half a million iPads.

“Total iPad 2 production capacity at the Chengdu site amounts to about 500,000 units per month,” iSuppli reports. “If the explosion results in a production shutdown until the end of June—which may or may not happen, depending on the outcome of the still-pending investigation—a production stoppage of half a million units could result.”

The longer the production suspension lasts, the greater the impact on inventory. And at present Foxconn has closed all facilities like those at which the explosion occurred pending further inspections.

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