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:
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]
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