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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. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      That's not good. Don't they make all the parts in China?
    1. NikeJS's Avatar
      NikeJS -
      Quote Originally Posted by delusion950 View Post
      That's not good. Don't they make all the parts in China?
      o.o I thought so too..is it? I hope Japan is doin alright though
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      I hope they're doing okay towards recovering.

      See even on the battery says assembled in China.
    1. z3r01's Avatar
      z3r01 -
      assembled in china....last time i checked china was located in....china....not japan? maybe parts come from japan to be assembled in china.
    1. djrbx's Avatar
      djrbx -
      Most pieces come from all over the world and shipped to China. It is there where the product gets assembled. China does however produce some parts required for most products but the majority is usually imported and only assembled there due to the low cost of labor.
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      Quote Originally Posted by z3r01 View Post
      assembled in china....last time i checked china was located in....china....not japan? maybe parts come from japan to be assembled in china.
      Maybe they do come from Japan.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Apple Solution: Buy new iPod when battery no longer functions!
    1. Jacobh4's Avatar
      Jacobh4 -
      Quote Originally Posted by z3r01 View Post
      assembled in china....last time i checked china was located in....china....not japan? maybe parts come from japan to be assembled in china.
      Yeah... It says the crucial polymer is made in Japan so I guess your right!
    1. davidmaiden18183's Avatar
      davidmaiden18183 -
      Does this not affect iPhones and iPads etc? Do they not use the same type of battery?
    1. atm_10142k's Avatar
      atm_10142k -
      I read this story yesterday on MACRUMORS.com, seem like this site is gets its stories from other sites.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by atm_10142k View Post
      I read this story yesterday on MACRUMORS.com, seem like this site is gets its stories from other sites.
      This site must be for those who don't want to bother searching the entire interwebz for the latest news. Now they can get it all in one place
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by atm_10142k View Post
      I read this story yesterday on MACRUMORS.com, seem like this site is gets its stories from other sites.
      You can go to 4-5 different sites and read the same story, it's called news and everyone posts their version of it.

      I think Apple will be just fine. I hope that everyone in Japan is doing alright, wish them a speedy recovery!
    1. nillam1's Avatar
      nillam1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by z3r01 View Post
      assembled in china....last time i checked china was located in....china....not japan? maybe parts come from japan to be assembled in china.

      The second paragraph says "a crucial polymer inside the batteries," not the battery as a whole.

      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. zeroskater61's Avatar
      zeroskater61 -
      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?
    1. nillam1's Avatar
      nillam1 -
      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?
      This thread is about a shortage of batteries because of a crucial polymer ingredient, from Japan! Why wouldn't u start ur own thread, instead of "attempting" to hi-jack this one?


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. zeroskater61's Avatar
      zeroskater61 -
      Quote Originally Posted by nillam1 View Post
      This thread is about a shortage of batteries because of a crucial polymer ingredient, from Japan! Why wouldn't u start ur own thread, instead of "attempting" to hi-jack this one?


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
      Am not attempting to do anything but ask a question just as any one else would.
      Why don't you show me how to post my own thread without having to be on the modmyi staff and I'll gladly post one asking my question there.
    1. Colby21's Avatar
      Colby21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Apple Solution: Buy new iPod when battery no longer functions!
      How are you supposed to buy a new ipod when the battery production has slowed?
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Colby21 View Post
      How are you supposed to buy a new ipod when the battery production has slowed?
      Leftover inventories? How long does it take for these batteries to lose their charging efficiency to the point where it needs to be replaced?
    1. Colby21's Avatar
      Colby21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Leftover inventories? How long does it take for these batteries to lose their charging efficiency to the point where it needs to be replaced?
      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.
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      Quote Originally Posted by zeroskater61 View Post
      Am not attempting to do anything but ask a question just as any one else would.
      Why don't you show me how to post my own thread without having to be on the modmyi staff and I'll gladly post one asking my question there.
      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.