Apple is facing iPod battery shortages


Apple is facing iPod battery shortages due to quake in Japan


For a company of Apple’s stature that relies on a wide array of Asian suppliers to ship millions of gadgets to the market every month, I’ve always felt even the smallest disruption in supply chain could spell trouble. The March 11 disaster that struck Japan has affected a lot of firms that make electronics components like memory chips and touch panels.
Apple reduces risks by working with multiple suppliers, but it still depends on the weakest supplier. According to the Wall Street Journal, shortages of lithium-ion batteries for iPods are ahead because Kureha, a polymer provider for lithium-ion batteries, had to reduce output of this chemical after shutting its Japan plant, writes author Mariko Sanchanta:
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.
It’s entirely possible this hiccup might provoke an alarming scarcity of iPod batteries that could lead to product shortages in stores. It’s affecting other mobile products that use lithium-ion batteries, including iPhones. Supply issues, natural disasters and political unrest are all cited as substantial risk factors in Apple’s filings with the Security and Exchange Commission. Good thing they’ve got operations wizard Timothy Cook on board.