According to a new report from IHS iSuppli on Tuesday, the recent explosion at a Foxconn factory could result in iPad 2 production losses for Apple. Despite reassurances from the manufacturer that production will not be affected — most iPad 2 units are built at Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant, which was not the site of the explosion — IHS iSuppli believes that “[Foxconn's] view is dependent on a return to full production pending the results of an investigation.” If there’ are any delays, however, iSuppli argues that the explosion could cost Apple as many as 500,000 iPad 2 units. “The impact of this disaster will only last for the short term, given that there are more than 10 factories in the Foxconn Chengdu plant, and because the explosion occurred on the third floor of one of the buildings,” IHS iSuppli said. More →
According to Business Insider, a report from FBR analyst Craig Berger claims that Apple’s goal of producing 40-45 million iPads is “out of reach.” Apple’s current second-quarter production target is 6.2 million iPad units, but that may not be possible due to production issues with Hon Hai, Berger said. As a result, actual iPad production could drop to 5.2 million units during the third quarter. Similarly, Berger argues that Apple may face production issues from the March earthquake in Japan, particularly in relation to touchscreen displays. Berger’s report is on a par with a recent DigiTimes article that suggested Apple would have a hard time manufacturing enough iPhone 4 and iPad 2 units to meet demand due to material and labor shortages at Foxconn. More →
DigiTimes is reporting that sources at upstream component makers have said Apple’s popular iPhone 4 and iPad 2 products could be facing a shortage of materials as well as labor at Foxconn plants in China for the second quarter.
Commenting on the rumor, Foxconn only emphasized that the company’s capacity is being arranged fully at the request of its clients and the company will do all it can to satisfy its clients’ needs; however, the company declined to comment whether the labor shortages will cause delays in shipments. Foxconn emphasized that it has experience arranging manpower to assist its clients in reaching their goals.
Apple has been pushing its component suppliers and manufacturers to increase production to between 2.5 and 3 million iPad 2 units per month, though it’s being reported that in addition to Foxconn labor issues, supplies shortages from Japan are still seriously impacting Apple. It looks like Apple really was right when it said it was manufacturing iPad 2s as fast as it could. More →
Sony Ericsson released a statement on Friday delaying the broader launch of the Xperia Neo until the third quarter due to supply chain disruptions caused by the earthquake in Japan. The firm said that volumes of its Xperia arc and Xperia PLAY were also affected, but it doesn’t appear that there are any delays with those launches. Sony Ericsson’s official statement is as follows:
As Sony Ericsson continues to assess the impact of the situation in Japan on its business, we have communicated to our operator customers and distributors that some volume of Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY and Xperia neo phones has been affected. Xperia neo has already been introduced to the marketplace in limited quantities. However, due to supply chain disruptions resulting from the situation in Japan, we have shifted the timing of Xperianeo’s broader launch and it is now planned for early Q3.
We will address this topic at the time of our Q1 financial results announcement call that is scheduled for April 19, 2011.
Sony Ericsson’s Italian Facebook page has a similar explanation, and confirms that the Neo will launch in July. More →
Research In Motion will finally launch its anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on April 19th, though most had initially expected it to reach consumers well before that date. According to a new report from DigiTimes, Apple may have been behind the rumored delays. The report states that RIM’s touch panel supplier, Foxlink, was so inundated with display orders from Apple that it wasn’t able to meet RIM’s manufacturing needs on time. “Sources from touch screen panel makers also pointed out that PlayBook shipments were postponed for about a month from the original schedule due to a delay in software testing as well as shortage of touch panels because Apple already booked up most of the available capacity,” the report claims. RIM’s late launch could have a significant impact on PlayBook sales, though several analysts believe the BlackBerry tablet will still sell quite well in its debut year. More →
An unconfirmed report from industry watcher DigiTimes suggests Apple may have been forced to reduce its first-quarter iPad production by as much as 50%. The report cites upstream component makers in claiming Apple’s first-quarter iPad 2 production volume has been revised down from between 400,000 and 600,000 units to between 300,000 and 400,000 units. The new lower production targets are allegedly the result of display panel shortages and last-minute specification changes Apple made ahead of production. Earlier rumors suggested Apple’s spec changes might delay the launch of Apple’s iPad 2, but DigiTimes claims the tablet is still on track for a second-quarter release. Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPad tablet at a media event next week. More →
Things have heated up quite a bit since Sprint confirmed to us that the Palm Pre is likely to be in short supply when it launches this weekend. As such, if you’re one of the many future Pre addicts who can’t wait to get your hands on Palm’s first webOS-powered device you may want to consider dusting off the old camping gear. According to tinyComb, lines for the Pre are already beginning to form outside Sprint shops. Ok fine — one guy is parked outside one shop rocking a sign that reads “First”, but who knows how many could join him before the week is through? Here’s what the anonymous Pre hound had to say:
I’ve been so disappointed with Sprint since my parents got me a plan three years ago. I hear there is only going to be four phones at each spot, and I’m getting mine!
Good luck to you, sir. Hit the jump for more shots.
As the Palm Pre fiiiiiiiiinally nears launch, there has been plenty of talk with regards to supply and demand lately. Is the Pre going to be as popular as everyone thinks? Did production issues prevent Palm from having enough units ready for launch? Are Palm and Sprint shorting deliveries to help ensure a sellout? Here at BGR we’ve gotten some pretty firm intel regarding Best Buy’s stock of Pre handsets at launch, but what about Sprint’s stock? Can we expect similar shortages? The following is an official statement from Sprint:
At Sprint, we’re excited by the response to the Palm Pre, but what’s been posted is pure speculation. Because of the Pre’s popularity, it’s likely that initially we won’t be able to keep up with the demand for the device. If that happens, we will work diligently to ensure that everyone who wants a Pre can get one as soon as possible.
So, it looks like Sprint and Palm are doing their best to meet projected demand but because the device is anticipated to be so desirable, it’s entirely possible — nay, likely — that demand will exceed supply. In that event however, Sprint will do everything in its power to step things up and get units out to everyone who wants one as soon as possible. There you have it folks, straight from the horse’s mouth.