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Japan disaster will cause gadget shortage

The recent disaster in Japan is going to impact gadgets relying on silicon chips. Many of Japan’s major producers are still struggling to keep up with demand as existing inventory is running out.

Toshiba and Hitachi are two of the bigger companies who are feeling the impact of the Japan crisis. The restrictions caused by the Fukushima nuclear plant are not helping matters either.

As Kitguru reported earlier this week, Apple have been turning to look at Taiwan to make up the shortfall in supply and are paying up to 400 percent more to get supply of components to keep up with demand for gadgets such as the iPad 2.

Apple have been absorbing the costs of this rather than passing them onto their customers, a move which is great for the public, but not so good for the competition. If you were being offered 4 times as much money for a specific component you would be mad to pass on the chance. This means that other companies are having to deal with the reduced stocks and suffering losses. Remember Apple have incredible capital to spend extra when it is needed.

Japan: reeling to recover

Lenovo have said that their ‘LePad’ which started shipping in China on Monday may be affected by these shortages, delaying to a wider worldwide launch. Hitachi have an emergency headquarters in place to set up specialised teams to execute production recovery plans.

They said “Hitachi Group will maximise the efficiency of support and recovery operations, and will combine the capabilities of the entire Group to contribute to the fastest possible recovery in regions affected by the disaster.”

Toshiba say that their semi conductor business in Yokkaichi and Oita are now running normally, despite sustaining minor damage. Their Iwate chip plant has increased productioon but they are using alternative production at Kaga, Himeji and Oita to help.

Toshiba say “Toshiba continues to promote detailed investigations of the status of suppliers in order to determine the extent of the impact on production. Every effort is being made to secure materials and parts and to minimise impacts on production. Toshiba is investigating available stock, including channel inventory, parts and half-finished goods; negotiating with suppliers to switch production to locations outside the affected region; and promoting adoption of substitutes. Toshiba Group will also support the earliest recovery at suppliers with damaged manufacturing facilities by supplying necessary equipment and components.”

KitGuru says: Supply shortages will continue to cause issues as companies try to source to other locations to help maintain losses.

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