Consumer Lifestyle News’ Quake Analysis highlights the effects of Japan’s natural disaster on an important aspect for the digital signage sector: the LCD manufacturers’ production capability. As Japan is the main source of LCD components their limited capacity to produce or ship their products shall be resented on a large scale.
Some of these companies (like Hitachi and Toshiba) are located in Japan’s affected areas and despite the fact that most of them didn’t announced any earthquake- caused damage,they are highly likely to have paused production. ”Although the situation is unclear, it can be assumed that factory operations will be influenced to some extent” claims CLN. Panasonic is among those reporting a damage and hasn’t determined when to restart the factory just yet (Bloomberg.com).
Besides that, the many small parts makers, who though unknown, are vital to the LCD’s production cycle, might have encountered operational disruptions which only delay the production process even more.
Given the equipment’s development cycle, the earthquake is expected to bear medium to long-term negative effects. According to CLN ”makers in Taiwan, Korea, and China have expressed concerns about the supply chain for the next few months”. The new iPhone5’s release might be delayed, specialists claim yet given its market position it will probably be given priority, making the entire supply issue not a big deal for Apple. DigitalTrends report states that companies like Motorola or Nokia are more likely to be affected by the crisis (not from the LCD’s point of view but rather because of NAND chips shortage).
With business and consumer confidence expected to shrink, the disaster’s psychological impact is arguably the strongest adversary the TFT- LCD industry has to face. It will take long until Japan will not be associated with the 11/03 events and the country will be again regarded as a reliable business partner. Nevertheless, given the stoicism shown by the Japanese people there’ s no doubt doubt that better days will come both for the country and its corresponding LCD sector.