Apple is one of the companies affected by the earthquake in Japan. Even if indirectly, the effects of this natural disaster affect the company by delays on components supplies to its product line for iPad 2 and iPhone 4.
So far the information given by Japanese suppliers of components are changing from hour to hour, as they assess the operational status of production facilities and resumption of business opportunities. Of these, two companies are considered of major importance for Apple: Toshiba and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical.
It seems that Mitsubishi is the leading supplier of resins, needed for creating printed circuit boards. Toshiba is a supplier for about 40% of global flash memory, some of which go to Apple products. Both companies have suspended work to assess damage.
The new range of iPad 2 tablets also contains DRAM memory chips manufactured by Elpida, electronic compass produced by AKM Semiconductor and battery assembled in China, but with elements provided by Apple in Japan. The glass pane applied over the screen of the new iPad 2 comes from Asashi Glass Company, headquartered in Japan.
Even if some of the companies involved, including AKM Semiconductor, reported no damage, logistical problems that affect the entire country will hamper the supply of raw materials and the elctric supply of power plants in the coming weeks.
Delays in delivery of components could be extended to the end of June. Meanwhile, Apple could mend the impact of these delays by appealing to suppliers in other regions of the world and long-term agreements signed with them could postpone price increases driven by declining stocks, giving the company an advantage in the competition.
Therefore the biggest financial impact felt by Apple could be just a reduction in profit margins and the increased costs of components caused by the crisis in Japan could be felt later in the second half of this year. Higher losses could be caused by lower sales recorded even in Japan, reducing by $ 202,000,000 (approximately 1%) of the initial estimated sales for March.