Controlling an adequate supply of materials to ship your products and meet the demand of consumers is something straight out of a business 101 text book, yet very few companies seem to be in the position of Apple Inc. when it comes to having financial reserves big enough to buy up 60% of the market.
According to a ThinkEquity analyst, Apple’s managed to buy up a majority of touch panels for their iOS devices. In fact, while others may be facing shortages due to the disasters in Japan, Apple could be carrying on—business as usual. It’s believed that Apple now controls 60 percent of all touch panels currently on the market.
Rajesh Ghai, the ThinkEquity analyst mentioned previously, has gone on record as saying that Apple’s primary manufacturing source has stated that they don’t expect any shortages, and that Apple’s already lining up alternatives to fill the shortages in certain areas of their manufacturing process.
This news isn’t exactly new. There have been reports of Apple’s attempts to purchase up as much stock as possible in the wake of the Japanese disasters for weeks. In March we reported on Apple purchasing screens from Optronics Corp for three to four hundred percent above cost in order to procure enough displays to meet iPad 2 demand.
Apple’s not going to sit around and let a supply crunch dictate how many products they ship. Like Ghai suggested, they’re looking into alternatives to get the products they need to ship. It appears that Apple may already be exploring a move to Brazil, alongside Foxconn, to get some of their key components manufactured outside of the Pacific Rim region.
There’s a good chance that everything’s on schedule with the iPhone 5, and any other product Apple’s looking to release in the short term. If products haven’t made them to the production line already, we probably won’t be seeing any new Apple products for a while, but we doubt that’s happening.
Photo Credit: iFixit