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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,436
17,780



141248-ipod_touch_4gen_battery.jpg


Fourth-generation iPod touch battery (iFixit)
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is facing shortages of the lithium-polymer batteries used in its iPod line, as a Japanese supplier has been forced to shut down its facilities following the earthquake there earlier this month.
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.

Kureha, which has a 70% share of the global market for a crucial polymer used in lithium-ion batteries, had to shut its factory in Iwaki -- near the quake's epicenter -- after the March 11 disaster struck. It is the only place where Kureha makes this particular polymer.
The development has increased the urgency with which Kureha is seeking to diversify its production beyond Japan to include the United States and China, but such efforts will not be able to ease near-term shortages.

According to the report, Kureha's facility in Iwaki escaped the disasters relatively unscathed, but extensive damage to the port nearby has prevented deliveries of materials needed to manufacture the polyvinylidene fluoride polymer from reaching the plant. No estimate for reopening the factory has been provided.

It is unclear why only Apple's iPod line is cited in the report, as virtually identical lithium-polymer batteries are used in the iPhone and iPad. Similar technology is also used in Apple's notebook batteries, although those units may not utilize the pliable polymer manufactured by Kureha in their construction.

Article Link: Japanese Earthquake Leading to Shortages of iPod Batteries
 

troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
5,753
482
Yeah :( all the seismologists had no idea an earthquake this big could be triggered by LiPo batteries.
 
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Number 41

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2009
738
632
Hard for me, even as an Apple fan, to weep too much for a company that chooses to do business overseas isntead of here in America, employing Americans.

Hopefully the situation in Japan improves -- for reasons beyond this.
 

applesith

macrumors 68030
Jun 11, 2007
2,686
1,255
Manhattan
Hard for me, even as an Apple fan, to weep too much for a company that chooses to do business overseas isntead of here in America, employing Americans.

Hopefully the situation in Japan improves -- for reasons beyond this.

Are you willing to pay more for your Mac gadgets so they can be made here?
 

iliketyla

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2011
105
0
Phoenix, AZ
Are you willing to pay more for your Mac gadgets so they can be made here?

I'd pay a premium for products manufactured in the US.

Products might be more expensive, but there would be more Americans employed. As much are there is a downside to producing here, there is also an upside.
 

JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,473
124
Mpls, MN
I'd pay a premium for products manufactured in the US.

Products might be more expensive, but there would be more Americans employed. As much are there is a downside to producing here, there is also an upside.

Quality would probably go down.
 

mex4eric

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2009
263
0
Ottawa, Canada
This is undoubtedly one of the first of many dislocations of supply for our global economy caused by this massive disaster. But I suspect the Japanese are masters of diversification and will meet the challenges.
 

Hisdem

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2010
772
49
South Florida
I'd pay a premium for products manufactured in the US.

Products might be more expensive, but there would be more Americans employed. As much are there is a downside to producing here, there is also an upside.

Yeah, but you have to think that Apple also sells outside the US. And then their products would be more expensive worldwide. I would not pay a premium to have a product that was built in the US. And I don't think the Europeans or Asians would either, to be honest.
 

applesith

macrumors 68030
Jun 11, 2007
2,686
1,255
Manhattan
I'd pay a premium for products manufactured in the US.

Products might be more expensive, but there would be more Americans employed. As much are there is a downside to producing here, there is also an upside.

All the companies competing with Apple would have to do the same, otherwise Apple could never come even close to competitors' prices.

There is nothing wrong with companies using resources abroad. It's called specialization. Why produce something for more money and less efficiently when it can be done better and cheaper elsewhere?
 

iScott428

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2011
230
0
Orlando, FL
I'd pay a premium for products manufactured in the US.

Products might be more expensive, but there would be more Americans employed. As much are there is a downside to producing here, there is also an upside.

I avoid most american made products, half of them are crap. Prime examples are the cars made by Chrysler and GM between 2000-2008. This however are drastically improving though, not sure if we (Americans) could produce all of these things with taxes, restrictions, trade barriers etc. I am sure there are very good reasons why the parts are made there and not here. Plus there is a plethora of unknown pollution aspects of producing tech products. Tree hugger's would freak
 

rovex

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2011
1,176
133
In 5-10 years the iPod will become extinct. By then the touch will be hanging on a thin wire.
 

alexph

macrumors regular
Dec 30, 2008
138
0
Devon UK
Guess this will affect iPod, iPhone and iPad - I wonder if that is the reason why iPhone5 will be dlayed till fall or even next year. Not much good in hyping up new products if many of your core components are unobtainable. I imagine that it not just batteries that all manufacturers will have problems with.

The Japanese are resilient, but it will take years for them to fully recover.

A
 

iliketyla

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2011
105
0
Phoenix, AZ
Yeah, but you have to think that Apple also sells outside the US. And then their products would be more expensive worldwide. I would not pay a premium to have a product that was built in the US. And I don't think the Europeans or Asians would either, to be honest.

All the companies competing with Apple would have to do the same, otherwise Apple could never come even close to competitors' prices.

There is nothing wrong with companies using resources abroad. It's called specialization. Why produce something for more money and less efficiently when it can be done better and cheaper elsewhere?

I avoid most american made products, half of them are crap. Prime examples are the cars made by Chrysler and GM between 2000-2008. This however are drastically improving though, not sure if we (Americans) could produce all of these things with taxes, restrictions, trade barriers etc. I am sure there are very good reasons why the parts are made there and not here. Plus there is a plethora of unknown pollution aspects of producing tech products. Tree hugger's would freak


You guys got me there, don't really have an answer for that one. I wasn't aware that other countries looked down on products manufactured here, that's a shame.
:(

Well hopefully the companies that manufacture products here step their game up in the near future!
 

bushido

Suspended
Mar 26, 2008
8,070
2,754
Germany
Highly debatable. More than likely working conditions would be far superior to what they are in China or Japan, and everyone knows happy employees are good employees.

and with our working hours and attitude we'll have 5 finished iPods by the end of the day instead of 493840384038403840 :p
 

iliketyla

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2011
105
0
Phoenix, AZ
and with our working hours and attitude we'll have 5 finished iPods by the end of the day instead of 493840384038403840 :p

Yeah you bring up a good point. I can't imagine assembling iPods is the most engaging activity ever, and most Americans would probably scoff at the kind of labor they seem to think is below them.

Kind of similar to when they raise an uproar about illegal immigrants taking all the jobs away, when they wouldn't be caught dead doing the kind of work some immigrants do.
 

Number 41

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2009
738
632
There is nothing wrong with companies using resources abroad. It's called specialization. Why produce something for more money and less efficiently when it can be done better and cheaper elsewhere?

Because it's rapidly becoming the case that EVERYTHING can be produced more cheaply in places like China and India -- even things that were previously thought to be "safe" industries (medical X-Rays are read in India / China, legal documents are authored overseas and sent back to the US to be signed) because they required and educated or advanced workforce.

So, I turn the question back to you -- how will you afford to buy an iPod when you are asked to take a substantial (50% or more) pay cut because an individual in India or China can do YOUR job more cheaply.

Globalization is a race to the bottom, and nobody seems to understand that while the 3rd world rises up, the 1st world inevitably must slide down.
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,553
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dXTC said:
In 5-10 years the iPod will become extinct. By then the touch will be hanging on a thin wire.

Lemme guess... it'll all be in the cloud, right?

Nanobots in the bloodstream!
 
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