Apple is doing great financially. In fact there are thousands of companies that would love to have one of Apples quarters as their yearly figures. Their supply issue is definitely one of those factors that money can't buy. Apple had to take a gamble on predicting their sales and they lost. Granted they didn't exactly lose because their sales for the year were still phenomenal, but they could have had even more. At least Apple has done this correctly and under estimated instead of overestimating and having warehouses full of product.
Dennis, Many of its rivals would rather have the Apple problem -- high (and not completely fulfilled) demand combined with enough cash to address the problem and clout with suppliers to leapfrog the pack. One of the things I couldn't mention in the article was Apple COO Tim Cook assuring his audience that he had a team of procurement managers working hard at the problem. He admitted the challenge but was sure Apple would find a way out. In the end, money talks even when its echo sometimes doesn't carry as far as one would like.
Despite all odds, Apple is still better positioned. Imagine having about $29.2 billions in cash and yet still unable to resolve the current issue plaguing the electronic industry, well like you said Bolaji, it truly shows the "Limits of Money" -Money cannot hold back an act of God that plagued Japan.
Wale Bakare, I do agree with you, although complex as it seems, it's time the high tech electronics industry extend its manufacturing base from Japan to another location, to safeguard against future occurrence.
It's nice to always be sold out of product. I wonder if the supply problem due to the tragic events in Japan will be relative to Apple's competitors, meaning will their main competitors also have the same issues in terms of supply (they only wish they had the same demand issues).
Aftermath of Japan's tsunami and quake being felt across all the high -tech sector. This should be a wake up call to all high -tech equipment manufacturers to shift attention from regions that are prone to natural disaster.
Its high time production of parts focused on other regions. Though, political instability and uprising may not make atmosphere condusive in those areas but i strongly believe human unrest can be curtailed rather than predicted natural disaster that no one can stop from being happening.
Apple's distinct indepth quality in high - tech industry plays key performance to its unquantifiable success especially since the emergence of tablet computers. Infact, despite the exodus of an Android platform tablets to the world markets, ipad still the most sought for tablet computer in the world.
Apple is still in a much better position than its rivals. Not being able to keep up with demand only means that Apple's products are widely desired. As far as the supply issue, that is something that will plague the industry as a whole. Apple still carries a lot of clout and I am sure will fair well in this situation but no company, including cash rich Apple, will be able to escape the negative ramifications of the Japan crisis.
The is the best kind of problem to have, as long as capacity can be increased in the short term for the critical compoments....but in this case, the issue is greater than just increasing the supply, but involves recovering lost capacity in face of still increasing demand.
"Even the richest company can get humbled, though, when money fails to solve its most pressing problems"
I totally agree with you. The fact that its rich comapny doesn't mean that it can secure critical parts all the time. But it gives the comapny extra flebility to diversify its supply-chain base. It can secure critical parts from different regions of the world so that in case of catastrophe there is no impact on the production.
If you put aside the supply chain difficulties caused by the Japan earthquake, I think this situation is rather similar to the problems Nintendo experienced in keeping up with the demand for Wii a couple of years ago.
In a way, you can't really be too upset for their respective failures to anticipate the unprecedented demand both companies experienced: what if they had done the opposite, over-producing and wasting money on very expensive to produce inventory? In general, using such a tactic would be very poor strategy.
There are simply times when the market demand for your product goes well beyond your wildest projections. This is really a nice problem to have, and I think very excusable.
Now that being said -- as you mention at the end of the article -- this situation differs from Nintendo due to the Japanese disaster issues. It will be very interesting to see how well Apple will be able to deal with this crisis. It could very well snowball and become a big problem, long-term.
Fortunately, Apple has an advantage in this situation that other companies do not: in times of limited supply, I am sure suppliers will try to fulfill Apple's requests first. They're obviously a very important client which they do not want to disappoint.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.