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Japan disaster causes shortage of lithium ion batteries for Apple

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
The earthquake and tsunami disaster has caused a Japanese chemical maker to shut down, resulting in constraints in the supply of lithium ion batteries for Apple's portable devices.

Kureha Corp. was recently contacted by Apple as the company expressed concerns over an apparent tight supply in lithium ion batteries, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report said the batteries are used in Apple's "popular iPods," but made no mention of other devices like the iPhone, iPad, or MacBook line.

Kureha is the maker of a "crucial" polymer known as polyvinylidene fluoride, or PVDF, used in lithium ion batteries that power devices like Apple's iPod lineup. The company has a 70 percent global market share of the polymer, but was forced to close down its factory in Iwaki, Japan, after the deadly earthquake hit on March 11.

As it struggles to meet demand for products from partners like Apple, Kureha is said to be accelerating its previously detailed plans to move its operations overseas. The company has factories in the U.S. and China, but none currently produce PVDF.

Takao Iwasaki, CEO of Kureha, told the Journal that his company was already considering production of PVDF in the U.S. and China in the future. The recent disaster will accelerate those plans, though he hopes to keep research and development in Japan.

About 800 workers are employed at the Iwaki plant that was shut down. Though it is located near the epicenter of the quake, none of the employees were said to have been seriously injured in the disaster.

Soon after the quake struck, concerns arose about Apple's ability to procure components from suppliers in Japan, particularly for the newly released and already constrained iPad 2. Among the parts said to be a concern by iSuppli are the system battery supplied by Apple Japan Inc.

While the iPad 2's three-cell battery is labeled as "assembled in China," the label refers to the whole battery pack. The battery itself is made by Apple Japan, which operates as a subsidiary of Apple. The Journal's story did not say whether Kureha's polymer is used in the iPad 2 battery.

Last week, one Wall Street analyst said checks with "critical" suppliers found that the disaster in Japan has not "meaningfully impacted" the supply of the iPad 2. It was said that any impact to supply would be "modest."
post #2 of 23
First.

Oh and I like turtles!
post #3 of 23
You guys are always predicting doom. You said this about other parts, yet there has been no visible effect on iPad 2 production. Stop creating undue panic.
post #4 of 23
The effects of the disaster have been interesting to watch as they propagate. In fact they propagated right into my facility when we discovered that Sony's only factory for HDCAM and HDCAM SR video tape was in Sendai and was damaged and flooded. There are other small players in the video tape market that can make HDCAM, but the Sendai plant was the only source in the world for the SR tape. It's taking a while for it to reach us, but already you cannot buy SR tape. It's all gone. HDCAM is available but constrained. OTher tapes are getting hard to fine as well.

Noticeable effects on Apple products will probably take some time to appear, but they will. If parts or raw material are no longer being delivered, you can only make your product for so long. Thanks just-in-time inventory!
post #5 of 23
Of course, this affects every other manufacturer.

If the batteries are for iPods, then they are likely for iPhones as well, assuming that "iPods" includes the Touch.

So going back to other threads here, it could be a reason why the iPhone MAY be delayed.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennywse View Post

First.

Oh and I like turtles!

Unfortunately for you, those are the only two things that you've got going for yourself.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
As it struggles to meet demand for products from partners like Apple, Kureha is said to be accelerating its previously detailed plans to move its operations overseas. The company has factories in the U.S. and China, but none currently produce PVDF.

Adding a US factory would be great, but I hope they'll consider building a factory at the other end of Japan rather than in repressive in increasingly militaristic China. A factory on the opposite coast wouldn't be at risk from the same tsunami and one at the opposite end of the country would be on a different power grid. It'd keep the redundancy inside Japan.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Adding a US factory would be great, but I hope they'll consider building a factory at the other end of Japan rather than in repressive in increasingly militaristic China. A factory on the opposite coast wouldn't be at risk from the same tsunami and one at the opposite end of the country would be on a different power grid. It'd keep the redundancy inside Japan.

Should we be concerned about Godzilla?
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

Should we be concerned about Godzilla?

No, but maybe you should be concerned with Trawsfynydd and Wylfa.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post

Unfortunately for you, those are the only two things that you've got going for yourself.

That, and he made me laugh. I actually get a kick out of adults playing the firsties game. Adds a bit of positive-spirited lightheartedness to the geekdom. It's self referential and playful - I'm in my thirties and I still enjoy racing my friends to the best spot on the couch in homage to our days as selfish eight-year-olds. I'm actually curious why it would bother anyone. Why not just give him a high five?
post #11 of 23
Well here comes another AAPL buying opportunity I guess.
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post

That, and he made me laugh. I actually get a kick out of adults playing the firsties game. Adds a bit of positive-spirited lightheartedness to the geekdom. It's self referential and playful - I'm in my thirties and I still enjoy racing my friends to the best spot on the couch in homage to our days as selfish eight-year-olds. I'm actually curious why it would bother anyone. Why not just give him a high five?

I see you have 12 posts here. From my POV of years of trying to use the forum to learn from the community (which is already often a "trying experience), no high-fiving because it gets done all the time - and then often pads the thread with off-topic responses to it (like this post of mine to you for one....... \ )

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

Reply

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

Reply
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

No, but maybe you should be concerned with Trawsfynydd and Wylfa.

Trawsfynydd: Shut down, fuel removed, decommissioned
Wylfa: None of the above.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

No, but maybe you should be concerned with Trawsfynydd and Wylfa.

OOps, out of date info ...
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

Trawsfynydd: Shut down, fuel removed, decommissioned
Wylfa: None of the above.

Wylfa was actually a safer design anyway from what little I've read.
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
Use duckduckgo.com with Safari, not Google Search
Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
Reply
post #16 of 23
Urg, get it together .
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post

That, and he made me laugh. I actually get a kick out of adults playing the firsties game. Adds a bit of positive-spirited lightheartedness to the geekdom. It's self referential and playful - I'm in my thirties and I still enjoy racing my friends to the best spot on the couch in homage to our days as selfish eight-year-olds. I'm actually curious why it would bother anyone. Why not just give him a high five?

You get it. I love how some people take life too xxxxxx seriously. For those who have seen the 'I like turtles' video, well then, you get it to.

For the record I know first is dumb, but sometimes I like to just LIVE ON THE EDGE!
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

OOps, out of date info ...

Yeah I realized that while reading the wikipedia page and before anyone responded but the name sounds so awesome and terrible I decide to let is remain a concern, hence I did not edit it.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Wylfa was actually a safer design anyway from what little I've read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Yeah I realized that while reading the wikipedia page and before anyone responded but the name sounds so awesome and terrible I decide to let is remain a concern, hence I did not edit it.

Well I live in Austin, TX so what do I know about nuclear plants in Wales?
post #20 of 23
Radioactive water is spilling out of the nuclear plant. It's not good, people.
http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/bre...329-1ce4g.html
post #21 of 23
dblepostt
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #22 of 23
i know that every one here wishes and hopes that JAPAN AND ALL THE fine people their a speedy recovery . These tasteless supply articles suck .


9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

i know that every one here wishes and hopes that JAPAN AND ALL THE fine people their a speedy recovery . These tasteless supply articles suck .


9

The supply articles are very important. While we all feel bad about what happened, as we keep saying over and over again, the world doesn't end at the Japanese border. There are millions of jobs at stake elsewhere around the world as a result of this, and that's important too.

In addition, the supply problems are at least as important to Japan as they are to us, because it's their economy that being clobbered because of this. The sooner Japan is able to get supply back where it was, the sooner their economy will begin to recover.

It's all entwined. There is one world economy now, no matter how much some hate to admit that.
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