Cell phone manufacturers are facing a very real shortage of cell phone batteries in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and ensuing tsunami. While this is clearly a footnote in the grand scheme of things, the importance of Japan has globally in the electronics market can’t be ignored.
A Japanese company called the Kureha Corp. produces a polymer used in lithium ion batteries. In fact, they control a 70% market share of this polymer. Their manufacturing plant hasn’t been open since the earthquake, and officials don’t have a timetable for when they expect to get things back online.
Apparently Apple has been the first major manufacturer hit by the Kureha shutdown, as they have traced their recent device shortages to a lack of iPhone batteries. But the longer that the plant remains out of commission, the more likely it will be that more manufacturers start to see shortages that will effect shipment of new devices.