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After Japan's Quake, Taiwan Helps Fill iPad 2 Supply-Chain Gaps

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the evil-violent-capitalist-oppressor-invaders-from-cupertino dept.

Businesses 98

RedEaredSlider writes "Like many device manufacturers, Apple cannot seem to escape supply concerns in the wake of the ongoing crisis in Japan. The company is hoping that AU Optronics will fill the void left by companies like Hitachi and Toshiba, both of which have been affected by the series of disasters that have rocked Japan. Damage to many factories from the earthquake and an ongoing nuclear disaster has disrupted supply chains and caused large slowdowns in production of vital electronic components."

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Good. (0, Troll)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682426)

It's a good thing we have our priorities in order.

Oh stuff it (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682492)

The world does not stop because of a disaster. We don't all quit what we are doing just because something bad happens. Companies still need to keep selling their stuff, the world economy needs to keep moving.

Further, one of the things Japan needs is for their stuff to be in demand, so they can get their industry up and running again and make money to help pay for the cost of all this.

Re:Oh stuff it (-1, Troll)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682560)

Companies still need to keep selling their stuff, the world economy needs to keep moving.

You speak as if "the world economy" were some sort of religion with rituals which must be adhered to for the good of the Invisible Hand.

Sadly, entirely appropriate.

Re:Oh stuff it (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682674)

If the world economy stops moving you get people losing their jobs and their homes, and eventually going hungry on the streets. It doesn't matter if you have the most ethical company in the world, they aren't going to be able to keep paying their employees if they aren't selling their products.

Re:Oh stuff it (0, Redundant)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682752)

Everything you say is currently true. But you're merely rewording the problem.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683078)

What problem?

Re:Oh stuff it (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683380)

You can look at it two ways depending on how sociopathic you are:

(1) If your system may result in people going hungry on the streets, other than because of a lack of food and buildings, then there is automatically a problem. There's your humanitarian angle;

(2) If the world economy stops then there are no enforceable debts, so no justification for pushing anyone out of their home. But when people consider "the economy stopping", it doesn't matter whether the knife falls on the melon or the melon on the knife: the melon suffers. There's your capitalist angle.

HTH.

Re:Oh stuff it (0, Troll)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683994)

Wow. I haven't seen anything this stupid in, oh, several hours. Communism doesn't work on a large scale, never mind a global one. Please do us a favor, go check on Fukushima for us. In person. Stay a couple weeks.

Re:Oh stuff it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35684460)

Wow. I haven't seen anything this stupid in, oh, several hours.

Have a look in the mirror.

Communism doesn't work on a large scale, never mind a global one.

Since there has never been a society based on Communism, it's impossible to know that.

Re:Oh stuff it (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682770)

If the world economy stops moving you get people losing their jobs and their homes, and eventually going hungry on the streets. It doesn't matter if you have the most ethical company in the world, they aren't going to be able to keep paying their employees if they aren't selling their products.

So much for John Lennon's Imagine...

Re:Oh stuff it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35682940)

'Imagine' was just as idealistic and completely invalid when it was released as it is today. Also, you need a lot more than love.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683180)

Furthermore, we do not all live in a yellow submarine.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683204)

In addition, Lucy is not in the sky and she does not posess diamonds.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684168)

In addition, Lucy is not in the sky and she does not posess diamonds.

Only if you choose the red pill.

Re:Oh stuff it (1, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683188)

'Imagine' was just as idealistic

Perhaps you missed the word "Imagine" in the song's title. It's an ideal to look to. At no point does the song say, "These are our targets by date X. If we don't achieve all of them globally then we have failed."

and completely invalid

Every sentiment in the song is invalid? So we shouldn't strive for less "necessary" death, less religion, less hunger, more peace?

Now, imagine there is no need for greed. Imagine we have reached the point where technology can keep every man comfortable and fed without the oft-claimed organisational "necessity" that is financial incentive to innovate/invest. The "economy" is alleged to be necessary to manage scarcity - today especially including artificially created scarcities. Imagine there's no scarcity of essentials.

Now, imagine our management of resources is so bountiful that we no longer feel the need to hoard - instead, we can share.

Imagine can be read two ways:
(1) Imagine we're communist;
(2) Imagine capitalism's fulfilled the promised role of technological advancement to the point that we're all educated, rational, comfortable and want for nothing.

I'm sure a Slashdot AC has a more interesting and engaging set of goals and ideals. Proceed.

Re:Oh stuff it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35683318)

What you are describing is a post-scarcity society which is enabled through advanced technology and scientific understanding of what makes us human; I don't think Lennon had exactly that in mind when he wrote the song. You know, context and all.

Also, lumping 'less religion' in with those just seems like atheist trolling more than a point, which I also find the original song to be guilty of. It's quote possible a religion could exist that encouraged behavior compatible with this ideal society. I'd go so far as to say that it would probably require some form of universal religion / beliefs to get everybody to agree with each other long enough to stop killing each other and form said society. Not that I think any of today's religions are really up to the task. Either that or our scientific understanding of the human body would allow us to suppress those tendencies.

Interesting and engaging enough? You may now retort.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683552)

scientific understanding of what makes us human; I don't think Lennon had exactly that in mind when he wrote the song.

"Imagine no religion", probably the most loudly repeated line in the song, is to imagine a scientific rather than mystical understanding of what makes us human.

That's a necessary but not sufficient condition for the rest, of course.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683598)

John Lennon was totally in tune with "spirituality" and all kinds of superstitious mumbo-jumbo. In the context of his life, that line can only be interpreted as his desire for faith groups with strict morality to get off his cloud.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683702)

Or maybe not every song's sentiment completely reflects the opinions of the writer. Or maybe not everyone's choice of entertainment reveals their underlying beliefs.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683396)

Capitalism will never fulfill that role. Its totally opposite human nature. Though the average American is richer than the average Somali, the disparity between a rich American and a average American is huge, so you have average people that can afford to eat and have a tv and car, but the rich can buy up all the property and other assets and charge people to use them (thus getting richer by taking more money from the average people), or excluding the peons from it all together (like what is happening at ski mountains and large lakes). One thing humans want is power (sure not all, but there are enough of them that its a problem). One way to do this is to get richer than everyone else. Greed and power-lust will always be the reason capitalism cannot do what you say. Im not saying I want communism, but it looks appealing when you see super rich people that have everything and you have 100,000 in student loan and credit card debts with no assets and nobody wants to hire entry level positions at a manageable wage anymore.

Re:Oh stuff it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35683526)

Yeah, something tells me a few years under communist rule might make it look not so appealing. You might start to notice the imbalance of wealth between yourself and some government officials, notice your inability to change the system, get resentful, and then capitalism will start to look appealing... lather, rinse, repeat.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684972)

Except due to globalism, overpopulation and the carefully engineered lack of independence in pretty much every economy in the world (very few countries are both energy and food independent) capitalists have entrenched themselves better than ever before. A local uprising is harder to pull off now, look at how Iceland got put on the terrorism watchlist when they didn't immediately bail out the banks, and with modern technology they can set up a security machine Stalin could only have dreamed of.

Re:Oh stuff it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35683696)

Talk is cheap. What did YOU do for the rest of the world today?

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684214)

Now, imagine there is no need for greed. Imagine we have reached the point where technology can keep every man comfortable and fed without the oft-claimed organisational "necessity" that is financial incentive to innovate/invest. The "economy" is alleged to be necessary to manage scarcity - today especially including artificially created scarcities. Imagine there's no scarcity of essentials.

Now, imagine our management of resources is so bountiful that we no longer feel the need to hoard - instead, we can share.

Imagine can be read two ways:
(1) Imagine we're communist;
(2) Imagine capitalism's fulfilled the promised role of technological advancement to the point that we're all educated, rational, comfortable and want for nothing.

(3) Zepherin gets his drunk ass out to that missile silo and finished the warp drive already!

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684106)

A Perfect Circle's cover of it from a few years ago, played in an octave lower and with Maynard's haunting vocals is far more appropriate for today's world environment.

Re:Oh stuff it (2)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682712)

You don't have a job, do you?

If companies waited until Japan can back to production then they would have to lay people off, which would have a severe ripple effect in your local economy.

Re:Oh stuff it (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682810)

No he does not. He is simply stating that people still need to do stuff. People still need to buy stuff. You act as if the world can only do one thing at a time.

Those 'rituals' happen so we can keep goos flowing, people employed, and so on.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682954)

Those 'rituals' happen so we can keep goos flowing...

Wait, what 'ritual' are we talking about here?

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682856)

Companies still need to keep selling their stuff, the world economy needs to keep moving.

You speak as if "the world economy" were some sort of religion with rituals which must be adhered to for the good of the Invisible Hand.

Sadly, entirely appropriate.

Pardon us for preferring that we have roofs over our heads.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682808)

The world does not stop because of a disaster. We don't all quit what we are doing just because something bad happens. Companies still need to keep selling their stuff, the world economy needs to keep moving.

Perhaps, but do we really need to have the basic logistics of one single — albeit trendy — company as front-page news? "FLASH: THIS JUST IN: McDonald's says they will stop buying beef from known mad cow disease-infested farms for the duration of the outbreak, and... *gasp* oh my god... can it be? It is! THEY'LL START BUYING FROM FARMS WITHOUT MAD COW DISEASE OUTBREAKS!!!!!"

THAT'S the issue with this article. That there's apparently an audience so concerned with not getting their gadgets even a day late that this is somehow important enough news to announce to the world, rather than ignored as just another relatively benign day-to-day corporate deal as it should be. In fact, in a way, you're completely right: The world economy DOES need to keep moving.

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683612)

Yup, you nailed it.

But as if often the case, my post is getting modded down as it suggests that Steve Jobs' latest sneeze may not be newsworthy.

Re:Oh stuff it (2)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685020)

But as if often the case, my post is getting modded down as it suggests that Steve Jobs' latest sneeze may not be newsworthy.

Wait, he sneezed? OMG OMG why didn't anyone tell me?!! DAMN YOU MASS MEDIA!

Re:Oh stuff it (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683660)

Really? Slashdot talks about 'important stuff' only? Hell, most of the submissions here are about things along one tiny edge or another of human endeavors. Linux? EFF? What Microsoft did or did not do last century?

While I agree in general that whether or not anyone ever gets another iPad pales in significance to issues around the tsunami, we've already beat that one up today. Don't take everything so seriously. You won't make it out alive.

Re:Oh stuff it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35683152)

But the world would stop if Apple stopped advertising and selling iPads. I live almost commercial free. No television and NPR radio in the car. Coming home, NPR had an iPhone advertisement embedded in the news about Libya, and I open up Slashdot and there is another Apple ad. I'm a big fan of Apple's products and a shareholder. I'm typing this on a Macbook Pro, my work computer is an iMac, and I've got other products of theirs too of various quality. Their marketing department is only slightly challenged by Google's, but even Google is a distant second.

Sometimes enough is just enough.

This is PR fluff and you didn't even RTFA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35684314)

Actually, this article is about Apple ditching Japan for Taiwan. Japan doesn't sell iPads, so this won't help Japan at all.

This appears to be an Apple press release that they copied from Taiwan Economic News. Not terribly newsworthy. The only thing missing was a statement about how Apple would take the hit instead of passing it on to the consumer after paying a 400% premium on components.

Yes, Good. (2)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682502)

Well the thing is, money into Japan will help to some extent. Companies that need to fund repairs need money from somewhere. Companies with money may put it to good (useful) use elsewhere in Japan. So you can't say getting buisness is a bad thing. Factories have to work, or people don't get paid and can't eat. Work from Apple will at least be reliable and in large volume, probably at a premium too. Some money is better than no money in a country facing crisis.

Re:Yes, Good. (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682540)

Um you realize the article is about Apple moving orders away from Japan to AUO which is a Taiwanese company that Apple thinks is in a better position to fill them.

Mind you I am not knocking Apple, if you have a supply who can't deliver why is not your problem you find a new supplier.

Re:Yes, Good. (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682668)

No some how I managed to miss that. That's what happens when you try to post whilst having someone wittering at you from across the room... It was good in theory.

Re:Yes, Good. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683112)

Japan won't get money for orders it can't fill.

And that goes far beyond the iPad. IN manahatten there is a bridge that uses special metal pieces. Up to now they have been made in just one place: A small shop in Japan.

That shop can no longer get the raw materials to build that part.

Do we let the bridge collapse because the guy in Japan won't get materials for months, or do we go elsewhere for the part?

Of course if the US wasn't so stupidly invested into just in time delivery of goods, we could wait it out and then restart orders at a later time.

Even better would be a small shop in New York making the part.

Re:Yes, Good. (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683414)

Yeah I had a reading comprehension fail on the location, apologies. But as both of you have said, businesses must continue to work, else the production stalls and causes economic issues elsewhere by not making sales or having market issues due to lagging production cycles. I guess this is the way of the monsters we have made, called corporations which must be fed.

Re:Yes, Good. (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684264)

And unfortunately for Japan, the consequences of this will extend far into the future. If other countries start to bring capacity for these parts online, then buyers may not switch back to sourcing them from Japan even after the factories recover. The insanely strong yen only aggravates the situation, it will be much harder for Japan to compete.

Re:Yes, Good. (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684512)

If the bridge is going to collapse because they can't get spare parts for a month or two, then I say let it collapse and build a lower maintenance one in its place.

buy one now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35682440)

or wait until full recovery which could take months to a year.

HypotheNews Theorem (4, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682476)

Between two hot stories, there is an angle, no matter how obtuse.

OH THANK GOD (-1, Redundant)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682482)

What would we do without iPad 2s!?!? Good thing Slashdot brought this important, geek-relevant news to us all.

Sad fact: There are many better stories in the Firehose right now, including one one on possible unforeseen environmental costs of renewable energy. But this one made it out instead.

Re:OH THANK GOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35682602)

Well this IS Slashdot....an Apple a day, and all that...

Re:OH THANK GOD (3, Funny)

narcc (412956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682750)

What would we do without iPad 2s!?!?

I know! the iPad 2 is the most important technological development since man first learned to create Fire. (It's 33% *thinner* for goodness sake!)

Without a steady supply of iPad 2's, civilization would collapse overnight. It's miraculous that we managed to survive as long as we have without this vital technology.

Re:OH THANK GOD (1)

Guybrush_T (980074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35688194)

Without a steady supply of iPad 2's, civilization would collapse overnight.

I didn't know Civilization had been ported to ipad ...

Re:OH THANK GOD (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683158)

Stop with the knee jerk and think.

This story is NOT ABOUT THE iPad. It only mentions it as an example. There will be world wide consequence in electronic* because of this disaster. That is something relevant to nerds.

*and many other industries.and by many, I mean All.

ipad ... vital? (0)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682536)

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Reading comprehension (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683134)

epic fail..

The parts the had been made in Japan were vital to building the iPad.

Not that iPads are vital.

First things first (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682566)

Let's worry about Japan's recovery from the disaster, and the toll it's taken on the Japanese people. I can stand to wait a little longer before I buy a tablet (or replace my laptop, for that matter).

Think about it from their perspective (2)

rwade (131726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682660)

I guarantee you the last thing that the Japanese want is for us to stop wanting their stuff real bad. Charity and well wishes about the "toll it's taken" on them will only go so far.

Re:Think about it from their perspective (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683706)

The sound I get from people living in Tokyo is exactly that : "stop consider us as victims, we want life to come back to normal, let's have business as usual". Of course I guess that the mood is different in the Sendai region.

Re:Think about it from their perspective (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683840)

I guarantee you the last thing that the Japanese want is for us to stop wanting their stuff real bad.

Sure, if you stayed home sick and your boss said, "don't worry, take all the time you like, we don't need what you do," you wouldn't feel too secure.

But you also don't want your boss to say, "we can't wait for you to recover, you're fired, we'll already found else." Which is what just happened here.

Re:Think about it from their perspective (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684528)

I'm pretty sure its not good for the Japanese for us to want their stuff so bad that we'll go to Taiwan to get it made when there is a temporary supply problem. Some percentage of these temporary changes in supply chain to meet demand are going to become permanent, perhaps a significant percentage if the price is right and they can sort out the quality issues.

Re:First things first (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682786)

so what? the people in Taiwan should just stand around doing nothing? Please. The world does more then one thing at a time.

The fact that it can be picked up so quickly is an interesting note considering the global market.

Something else that was ,once again, brought to light is the problems with just in time services.

Re:First things first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685210)

> The world does more then one thing

More THAN one thing at a time. THAN.

Re:First things first (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683812)

What, exactly, does thus article prevent you from doing that you otherwise could be doing to help? And why did you post here instead of doing that or anything else that would be a higher priority?

You did it because even though your post claims otherwise, you do realize you can do multiple things at the same time. So spare us the false piety, please.

Re:First things first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35687052)

Screw you - i want some new-fangled plastic to take with me to the dead steve jobs rodeo show. It's coming to my town in the next few weeks and i want to show how hip i am just in case the cameras pick me out in the audience.

vital electronic components... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35682570)

... like the iPad?

Apple doesn't support America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35682588)

Americans should be the one putting them iPads and iPhones together. Them thousands of jobs should be here in America.

Make sure to vote for Apple on Consumerist's Sweet 16.

Re:Apple doesn't support America? (1)

pympdaddyc (586298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682882)

Right, because if Apple had everything built and assembled in the US, we definitely would have people like you instead complaining about how expensive Apple products are.

Re:Apple doesn't support America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35683964)

Only if Apple builds their plant in detroit and hires the most unionized people they can.

There are plenty of "foreign" car companies doing just fine building cars in Alabama. The only reason the Big Three^WTwo refuse to build their plants in places not owned by unions is because then they'd lose their scapegoat.

Very good (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682608)

An iPad in very pot.. The only thing to fear is... As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense...

Sandy Bridge Upgrade Delays... (3, Interesting)

rwade (131726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682630)

I've been looking forward to building a new Sandy Bridge system and the disaster in Japan has thrown quite a wrench in it, I'm afraid. The high-quality Asus and MSI motherboards are, of course, assembled in China. However, it is my understanding that the high-quality capacitors and some of the other vital components in the boards are manufactured in Japan.

The revision 3 boards -- with the cougar point SATA issue resolved -- have been in short supply since...well, up to now. I was anticipating several months of supply -- oversupply, specifically -- to knock down the price of the boards, some of which are selling _above_ MSRP -- particularly the Asus P8P67 Pro. From what I understand, Asus, MSI, gigabyte, and the rest are having enough trouble just getting boards to folks that RMA'd their original boards, which is why so few are in the retail channel.

That, of course, leads me to the fear that the Japan-related supply shortage shoe has yet to drop. Kind of sucks.

Then again, I didn't loose my house...

Re:Sandy Bridge Upgrade Delays... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682890)

I suppose thier houses are kind of loose, possibly from the water washing away from the foundation, but did you mean that you are glad you didn't lose your house?

Re:Sandy Bridge Upgrade Delays... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35683384)

haha. and you can't spell "their".

Re:Sandy Bridge Upgrade Delays... (1)

Kakari (1818872) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685684)

haha. and you can't spell "their".

There's just something about correcting someone's grammar/spelling/diction/etc. that guarantees that you'll screw up something in the process.

Re:Sandy Bridge Upgrade Delays... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35687384)

Yup. For whatever reason the spellcheck didn't show on that one. Though I should just say woody and move on :)

Re:Sandy Bridge Upgrade Delays... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35688832)

Hmm, annoying android spellcheck didn't like "woosh"...oh well.

Re:Sandy Bridge Upgrade Delays... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686996)

I suppose thier houses are kind of loose, possibly from the water washing away from the foundation, but did you mean that you are glad you didn't lose your house?

Oh, the delicious irony.

Re:Sandy Bridge Upgrade Delays... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35687688)

your dealing with yanks mostly on this site - they don't do irony old bean.

otherwise they wouldn't be the biggest customers for apple computers inc, a company that has turned symbolic calculating machines into the equivalent of designer handbags - turning wannabe geeks into slavish consumers.

What about quality? (5, Interesting)

jackd (64557) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682746)

This could easily have extended consequences for the quality of the devices that are put in the market over the next 1-6 months. New possibly untested stopgap suppliers, providing technology condensed sensitive parts. This won't just affect Apple, many manufacturers will get hit by this. Would be interesting to see stats for returns from some of these companies over the next few months.

Exactly -- Taiwan suddenly being considered..? (2)

rwade (131726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682818)

Good point. Japan hasn't been a low-cost manufacturing location for a long, long time. That begs the question of why not go with Taiwan production even before the quake. I think that you're onto the answer to that question with your post...

Re:Exactly -- Taiwan suddenly being considered..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35682912)

Possibly, but not necessarily. Could be that a Japanese supplier was the only one that could guarantee a required volume. If that capacity is now reduced, supplementing with Taiwanese sources makes sense. It doesn't mean Taiwan could have met the original quantity goal, only the shortfall. Further, rumors are suggesting Apple is paying more for these supplemental LCD panels. Perhaps AU Optronics lost out as primary supplier due to this, which matters less now that there's a supply crisis.

Re:Exactly -- Taiwan suddenly being considered..? (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682988)

Could be that a Japanese supplier was the only one that could guarantee a required volume.

So the question, then, is -- why can Taiwanese suppliers not guarantee a required volume? It's not as if they don't have a large enough workforce to support this kind of production. I would suggest that production technology in Taiwan is behind the state-of-the-art used in Japan. I would also suggest that training of production personnel and engineering oversight hasn't gotten Taiwanese personnel to the same level as those similar actors in Japan.

In any case, I'm thinking that parent's (jackd's) original hypothesis that the temporary shift to Taiwanese production of components formerly made in Japan may lead to quality issues. There is a reason that Taiwan hasn't been doing this for less money that Japan for years -- I think it's because they can't, not because of some coincidence.

Re:Exactly -- Taiwan suddenly being considered..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35685736)

> why can Taiwanese suppliers not guarantee a required volume? It's not as if they don't have a large enough workforce to support this kind of production.

Actually, it may exactly be that they don't have as large a workforce. After all, we're comparing Taiwan (pop 23 million) to Japan (pop 127 million). If all else was equal, that'd mean Japan has 5x the workers in that industry. However, given labor costs, the Japanese plants might be more automated, and thus Japan could have more than 5x the output compared to Taiwan. And that's assuming Taiwan's industrial capacity isn't being used for different product lines than the Japan's - I would think they don't go directly head to head with each other, and that neither goes fully head to head with what the Chinese and South Korean factories are making, because all four have different expertise and different price points.

Re:Exactly -- Taiwan suddenly being considered..? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#35686554)

A good deal of taiwanese companies has outsourced to china already or opened factories there. So the workforce definitely is not that much of a problem.
But quality still is I guess.
The japanese to some degree managed to ramp up the quality when the mass manufacturing of low price electronic goods went to taiwan.

Re:Exactly -- Taiwan suddenly being considered..? (2)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682926)

My company's hardware is assembled in China, however, many of the base electrical components, switches, capacitors and such, are manufactured in Japan. The assembly lines in China cant build what we need if they can't get the parts.

Re:Exactly -- Taiwan suddenly being considered..? (1)

readin (838620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685638)

My company's hardware is assembled in China, however, many of the base electrical components, switches, capacitors and such, are manufactured in Japan. The assembly lines in China cant build what we need if they can't get the parts.

I'm not sure I see your point. Like Japan, Taiwan does a lot of high-tech manufacturing. Like Japan, Taiwan outsources a lot of low-skilled assembly work to China and other places in Asia.

Re:Exactly -- Taiwan suddenly being considered..? (3, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685956)

Like Japan, Taiwan does a lot of high-tech manufacturing.

There is more than one level of high-tech manufacturing. It's one thing to take a 0402 capacitor and put it onto the PCB. It's a very different thing to make that capacitor from microscopic parts in the first place. Do you think there are no trade secrets in ceramics that allow you to cram a few uF [digikey.com] into an 0402 part? (Murata [murata.com] is a Japanese company.) Even this tiny segment of passives is dominated by US and Japanese manufacturers (TDK, Taiyo Yuden, Kemet, Panasonic, Murata.) Even AVX, a very solid US manufacturer, has nothing to offer if you need 4.7uF in size 0402.

Companies like Panasonic-ECG and Rohm are doing very well, and they are producing very cost-competitive components. If you are looking for a low cost surface mounted aluminum capacitor, Panasonic is the most likely manufacturer.

Re:Exactly -- Taiwan suddenly being considered..? (1)

readin (838620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685620)

Good point. Japan hasn't been a low-cost manufacturing location for a long, long time. That begs the question of why not go with Taiwan production even before the quake. I think that you're onto the answer to that question with your post...

Taiwan hasn't been low cost manufacturing for a while also. It's a developed country that does a lot of high-tech manufacturing.

Re:What about quality? (2)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684616)

The article is not clear, but it seems that AUO were already supplying half the LCDs for the iPad 2, with Toshiba, Hitachi, Samsung and LGD also named in the article (the latter two specifically as display suppliers). So it seems Apple already had their bets hedged with multiple suppliers, and AUO is just increasing its share (probably along with Samsung and LGD) to cover the shortfall from the Japanese suppliers. Quality should not be affected, as they are an existing supplier, not a new unknown one.

part of chosen ones .5b remaining population adj. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35682834)

parts is parts. the lost count of the unproven dead world wide may become a nuisance to movingrightalong.image, requiring a new word of god to be rediscovered, & more chariots of fire etc(nn)... to be imagined (focus; my nails are not bleeding/appetizing right now) as not really dirty, deities, or dangerous. so that takes care of that.

About time (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35682924)

Thank god for that! Those damned Japanese not showing up to work because they're trapped under buildings, washed out to sea or irradiated by the folly of man... how dare they!!!

Inspiring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35683118)

I'm so fucking happy Apple will be able to move past this tragedy for them, and build a bright new future.

really? (1)

nataflux (1733716) | more than 3 years ago | (#35683320)

An ipad is not a vital piece of equipment, a computer hardly is in this situation. Why does this article even exist?

Re:really? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684158)

No, but the parts that Japan's damaged factories can no longer make were vital to the construction of the iPad. That is what the sentence means. It doesn't mean that iPads themselves are "vital".

It's also talking about a wider context, covering a large number of electronic devices - Japan makes a significant number of components for all sorts of things.

Supply-Chain Gap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35683686)

Mr President, we must not allow a Supply-Chain Gap!!!!.

Insurance will cover it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35684178)

Apple is insured for the "net cost" of the disaster. Those fees they are paying to overcome local conditions and resourcing are covered. I wonder if any analyst whatsoever will have the smarts to ask the question, "how much will insurance have to cover?" That is not limited by SEC rules!

Rocketman

In other news, 20,000 dead from massive tsunami (1)

mmj638 (905944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684684)

There are 20,000 bodies that have not been properly laid to rest.

Is a potential iPad 2 shortage really that serious?

I'm just saying. It's like worrying about a lack of, I dunno, parking spaces right after the September 11 attacks.

Re:In other news, 20,000 dead from massive tsunami (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685268)

There are a lot of stories to be told. Not everyone has to tell the same one. I'm sure you didn't find out about that 20,000 based on your own research or based on desperate missives on the red cross website. I'm betting that you read it in a news story. The fact that you read it means that it was covered. So someone covers the 20,000 bodies and now slashdot is covering the business and economic impact of those the electricity outages. What exactly is wrong with that?

Re:In other news, 20,000 dead from massive tsunami (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685436)

There are 20,000 bodies that have not been properly laid to rest.

Is a potential iPad 2 shortage really that serious?

I'm just saying. It's like worrying about a lack of, I dunno, parking spaces right after the September 11 attacks.

And if you did feel like the lack of parking spaces was not something to worry about, it was a sign that the terrorists had won.

It is like that great British slogan used now, but not during the war: "keep calm and carry on".

It is one thing to show respect. Do like many of us have and show respect by donating to the Red Cross. But not carrying on with your life? That does not help the people in Japan at all.

Re:In other news, 20,000 dead from massive tsunami (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35686232)

What's so significant about laying a body to rest?

That's like worrying that your cat's fur isn't properly combed, right after it was hit by a car.

Get your priorities right (1)

optymizer (1944916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35684942)

Oh no! People are dying in Japan! Radiation is everywhere! Jesus, please help those poor souls who have pre-ordered an iPad2 and are now so upset with Apple.

bad neighborhood (1)

rahunzi (968682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35685930)

Was at a conservative think tank in DC today. Coincidently, forum was on Taiwan's (Republic of China ROC), dealings with PRC (Mainland, Communist China). Lots of security stuff. One guy (who really know his s**t and had seen lots of Chinese goodies) resembled Gust Avrakotos in Charlie Wilson's war (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman). No one mentioned Japan and the manufacturing crash in high-value technical devices. So I emailed one guy who was on the panel a couple of questions afterward: "2. What effects in the next year can you see regarding the developing crisis in Japan. In Silicon Valley, manufacturers are encountering shortages in high-value tech products. Auto manufactures here are undergoing supply bottlenecks. And there is the station of Japan as an ally of the U.S. - and one who has confronted China on issues such as fishing in disputed Island locations. And how probable is it that China will jump in and replace the damaged Japanese suppliers and steal the markets?" his reply: "2. China is not yet in a position to produce many of the hi-tech components that Japan currently supplies to the market – Chinese firms only assemble already made hi-tech components. Taiwan is actually quite well positioned to take market share from Japanese firms. Many international firms will be reluctant to change designs and base production of their hi-tech components in the mainland because of the on-going problems of R&D theft and would much prefer to set up hi-tech production in countries like Taiwan. China would not be the first choice for many of these firms."" now for the ethically PC... I asked: "I mulled about something here so here goes. "Taiwan is actually quite well positioned to take market share from Japanese firms. " is, I think, wonderfully nuanced as an answer to my query on Japan's present travails. Is it, in your opinion, in the Taiwanese nature to do so (take market share from Japan at this time)? I am not asking you if you think they WILL do it, just if it is an option that is not out of the question for more than one Taiwanese high-tech manufacturing enterprise?" his reply: "I think the decision will be made as much by the international firm as the Taiwanese one. But if they need to produce a market ready product, then international firms will do what they have to do. " Obviously, many things are at work here...and Japan will be eating it for some time. Immediately, I mean YESTERDAY companies need to nail down safe, accessible, precision manufacturing capacity and facilities. Really, Taiwan is the only place that comes close to Japan. So I go to work on my blog of the forum and slashdot comes in - I couldn't make this up. No kid gloves allowed.

It's over (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35688718)

Now Today... is Go Forward (and Stop backing up) day.

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