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  • iPod Batteries May be in Short Supply Following Quake in Japan


    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple may be facing a shortage of lithium polymer batteries that are used in its iPod line of music players. The bottleneck appears to be coming from a relatively obscure Japanese chemical maker that was forced to shutdown following the recent disaster in Japan.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, “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.”

    Following the disaster, the company now plans on moving much of its production overseas. The factory appears to have survived the quake relatively undamaged, however, the nearby port wasn't so lucky. Unfortunately, it was severely damaged. Until the port is up and running again, the plant cannot receive the raw materials necessary to continue production of this crucial polymer. Small companies such as this may not be well known outside of Japan, but they provide essential components for many types of high end products. Until production resumes, Apple may be forced to find another source for iPod batteries or delay production altogether.

    Part of the reason that lithium polymer batteries are so attractive to electronics manufactures is because of the fact that they are so pliable. Because of this, batteries can be manufactured to fit into smaller, more usual spaces then with more traditional rigid types of batteries. The shortage of lithium polymer batteries will most likely affect other manufacturers as well as Apple. Any manufacturer currently looking to use lithium polymer batteries in their electronic devices may have to look elsewhere until production is up and running at full capacity again. Unfortunately, because the disaster in Japan was so widespread, there is no way of knowing when production will resume. If you're in the market for an iPod, you may want to buy one sooner rather than later.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPod Batteries May be in Short Supply Following Quake in Japan started by Wiley John Wright View original post
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. zeroskater61's Avatar
      zeroskater61 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rob2G View Post
      Click forums at the top of your page, then find the appropriate sub forum and click that. At the top of the forum list you should see a button that says new thread or something like that.
      Good to know thank you.
      This way I now know for next time since my question was already answered by a staff member of MMI.
    1. XiOS's Avatar
      XiOS -
      Yep another reason things should be "Made In America"
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Colby21 View Post
      Too many variables to know for sure. How long you've owned it, how long it's been used, temperature at which it's sat or been used, abuse,neglect, so many things.
      Would you say on average an iPod would last at least 2 years on a battery?
    1. djrbx's Avatar
      djrbx -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Would you say on average an iPod would last at least 2 years on a battery?
      Possibly but in all honesty it just would depend on how many cycles the battery has gone through. Most rechargeable batteries have a standard life cycle known as recharge cycles. It's the amount of times a battery has gone fully charged to depleted then back to it's fully charged state which counts as one full cycle. Most batteries have a life cycle of about 300 charges. So depending on use, a person can go a year or two before even noticing that the battery is starting to degrade. Even then, most batteries still have about 70%-90% life in them. The iPod will probably wont last as long as it used to, but still hold enough charge to enjoy some music. This is of course keeping with the rule of letting your battery die out completely at least once a month as these batteries are made to be used and not always plugged in as that too can destroy the life of the battery.

      I have had an iPod mini 2nd gen since 2005 and the battery is still in working order. I hardly use it because it has since been replaced with my iPhone over the years from the first gen to the iPhone 4, but when I do decide to use the iPod mini, the battery is still good as new. It has lasted me more than 5 years and still going strong.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by djrbx View Post
      Possibly but in all honesty it just would depend on how many cycles the battery has gone through. Most rechargeable batteries have a standard life cycle known as recharge cycles. It's the amount of times a battery has gone fully charged to depleted then back to it's fully charged state which counts as one full cycle. Most batteries have a life cycle of about 300 charges. So depending on use, a person can go a year or two before even noticing that the battery is starting to degrade. Even then, most batteries still have about 70%-90% life in them. The iPod will probably wont last as long as it used to, but still hold enough charge to enjoy some music. This is of course keeping with the rule of letting your battery die out completely at least once a month as these batteries are made to be used and not always plugged in as that too can destroy the life of the battery.

      I have had an iPod mini 2nd gen since 2005 and the battery is still in working order. I hardly use it because it has since been replaced with my iPhone over the years from the first gen to the iPhone 4, but when I do decide to use the iPod mini, the battery is still good as new. It has lasted me more than 5 years and still going strong.
      Well in that case lets just say that at the very worst it would last a year. I highly doubt Apple will have this shortage for an entire one YEAR span. That's a long time to be without crucial product materials.

      I think this "shortage" is being blown way out of proportion. They'll handle it quickly.....anything that involves Apple and a potential loss of revenue is guaranteed to be handled expeditiously....unlike some other things which I will not go into.
    1. djrbx's Avatar
      djrbx -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Well in that case lets just say that at the very worst it would last a year. I highly doubt Apple will have this shortage for an entire one YEAR span. That's a long time to be without crucial product materials.

      I think this "shortage" is being blown way out of proportion. They'll handle it quickly.....anything that involves Apple and a potential loss of revenue is guaranteed to be handled expeditiously....unlike some other things which I will not go into.
      I completely agree. This shortage does effect supplies currently but not as much as the article states. Most companies have an out. It's just part of the plan. Especially when deals go south, a company needs a secondary supplier that can offer the same product. Without an emergency plan, situations like these could cause companies to go under which is not what investors want.
    1. Sanady361's Avatar
      Sanady361 -
      Thing will spring back.
    1. nillam1's Avatar
      nillam1 -
      I predict there will be little to no effect to any batteries, including Apple or the rest! With today's outsourcing & contracting, a replacement supplier can be found very easy. The only way this would be an issue is if the worlds supply of this "crucial polymer," was located within Japanese soil. Fear breeds consumption, get b'aaaaaaa b'aaaaaaa back in line sheep! For those of u thinking of stock piling batteries now, u can sell them in the future & make tons of money like all the scalpers hoarding tickets to the Charlie Sheen "FIASCO" tour! Lol, Apple is to prepared to let something this minuscule impede production of any iDevice! (By "minuscule," I'm referring to the "crucial polymer ingredient" shortage itself. Not the devastation & destruction the Tsunami has caused Japan!)
    1. MYPHONEI's Avatar
      MYPHONEI -
      Can't Apple just buy them on EBay? Lol ( just kidding)
    1. yeahiknow's Avatar
      yeahiknow -
      Quote Originally Posted by zeroskater61 View Post
      Off topic.. My friend is waiting for the uNlock for 4.2.1 but it's not out yet and he was searching online and came across this website applenberry.com and they claim to sell a mini sim that unlocks the iPhone 4 up until ios4.3 they even have a video on there website demonstrating the sim doing it's work and yup it does show the iPhone 4 unlocked for t-mobile on 4.2.1 but the sim unlock runs for $65.
      Just wanna know has any one heard about this or seen this in the works as well cause my friend is thinking of buying it since there's no word on how long musclenerd will release his unlock?
      If ur using the app go to forums then go to the appropriate topic. After that, hit the button at the top right then hit new topic.