Japan’s Earthquake and The Possible Economic Tragedy

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As Japan has been devastated by a tragedy that is only now coming to shape, the business and technology communities are attempting to claim part of this hurdle as their own.  Japan‚Äôs recent earthquake and subsequent Tsunami has left a number of dead and missing toppling 1,700, and that figure could continue to rise.  As a nation, and the surrounding communities, try to come together there have still been some voices that have looked to see how this is going to affect the international tech market.  With the upcoming iPad 2 it is likely to see an immediate effect to the lines of production, which means less to those who are looking for the tablet than for those who work in the factories that have been affected.


The central reason the Japanese earthquake has had a direct effect on this production line is that the base area for the earthquake was near the manufacturing locations for both Toshiba and Fujitsu.  These produce an incredible amount of the NAND flash that is used in a number of devices, as well as a relatively significant amount of DRAM.  This does not mean that there is an exclusive manufacturing of these materials in Japan, but that it will affect the distribution models and could negatively affect those employed to work in these fields in the Japanese areas.


The point here is that the supply chain will not be immediately halted by Japan‚Äôs earthquake since much of it is already there to go, but there will be a noticeable shortage months from now.  This means nothing in comparison to the cost of lives and destruction to families in the area, but this could also be a devastating blow to the Japanese economy in a time where people need as much help as possible.   Flash memory has become central to Apple‚Äôs development far beyond the iPad 2, and it would be an incredible show of disregard if they were to simply re-orient production in areas that have not been affected by the earthquake.  What is important today is to find ways to reach a hand out to those that have been affected by this disaster and hope that the financial losses here will not have a noticeable toll on the working class families in the industry.

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