Paying whatever it takes to ramp up to a reported ship rate of 4 million iPads per month
Here's what Apple COO Tim Cook might call another "fantastic use" for the company's nearly $60 billion cash reserves.
According to a report Thursday in DigiTimes, the Taipei-based daily that is a rich source of electronics supply-chain rumors, Apple (AAPL) has agreed to absorb all the additional component costs created by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and the resulting factory brownouts.
If true, this could have two effects:
DigiTimes' sources also report that iPad 2 shipments are expected to reach 4 million units per month this quarter, provide Apple doesn't run short of parts. According to these sources, the Japanese companies that supply such parts as anisotropic conductive films (ACF) and indium tin oxide (ITO) materials -- have enough inventory to last until May, but may not be able to sustain supplies until June.
Also on Fortune.com:
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Apple can only do so much for the beleaguered country
Although Apple claims that it's on track to deliver iPad 2s to the other 25 countries that were scheduled to get the new tablet on March 25, it has confirmed what it told All Things Digital's John Paczkowski earlier today: The company is postponing the launch in Japan while its people there focus on recovery.
"Our hearts go out to the people MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 15, 2011 2:45 PM ET
The tool is an easy registry creator to help victims and loved ones communicate during emergencies.
Natural disasters such as the EarthQuake/Tsunami in Japan last night disrupt traditional channels of communication. When homes are destroyed, cell communications towers toppled, and people taken to emergency rooms or worse, there is very little in the way of a full organized registry of people who may be missing.
For this, Google (GOOG) deploys its People Finder tool. People Finder is MORESeth Weintraub - Mar 11, 2011 9:15 AM ET
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