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More than a month after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, there’s finally official word about the impact on Apple’s global supply chain.

Apple’s Q2 2011 earnings –which, it has to be noted, remain very strong– allowed Tim Cook to address the question directly.

Disruption mitigated

As pointed out yesterday, the disruption to Apple’s sourcing seems to have been mitigated for the past month through some extra effort, leading to minimal sales impact.

The acting CEO acknowledged during the Q&A session that Apple was sourcing “hundreds of items” from Japan. These range from LCD components to coatings and optical drives. “The earthquake and tsunami and nuclear crisis caused disruption for suppliers”. Acknowledging the difficulties, Cook added that “employees have been literally working around the clock” and have come up with a “number of contingency plans”. He stressed the impressive resilience and “outstanding teamwork” of Apple’s partners in Japan.

Uncertain future

The situation remains uncertain, as the company would prefer to maintain its long-lasting relationship. “There’s obviously no guarantees” warned Tim Cook as he anticipated no shortage nor cost impact for the upcoming quarter. Apple will revisit the situation during the next earnings in September.

Cook admitted that there had been an impact on revenue for Q2 but that it shouldn’t amount to more than USD 200m for Q3. As a reminder, Apple’s revenue in Japan were about 1.4bn USD for the last quarter of 2010.

No word on iPad2

Apple didn’t announce any release date for the delayed iPad2 in Japan. It seems to rule out a roll-out in the next few days, that some analysts had predicted. I personally remain bullish on a mid-May release date.

 

Remember that you can help Japan. Strike that, remember that you should help Japan. “It’s an incredible tragedy” says Tim Cook. Head over our friends at #quakebook, and buy their ‘2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake’ (direct Amazon links: http://amzn.to/quakebook (US) & http://amzn.to/qbuk (UK)). 100% of the money goes to the Japan Red Cross society.

 

Image credit: Quasic, under cc by-sa 2.0 license.
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