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Apple postpones iPad 2 launch in Japan

Company plans to shift focus on recovering from recent tsunami disaster

The recent mega-tsunami that struck Northeastern Japan last week continues to disrupt many technology companies and their manufacturing chain. Now, new releases on the archipelago island may be delayed as well, including Apple’s iPad 2.

“We are delaying the launch of the iPad 2 in Japan while the country and our teams focus of recovering from the recent disaster” said Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris. While the disaster is expected to cause worldwide supply issues for certain manufacturers, Kerris pointed out that the decision to delay the iPad 2 launch was not due to component shortages. Analysts, however, say that Apple could eventually be having supply issues with flash memory if the crisis continues.

For iTunes users wanting to help families affected by the tsunami, Apple has added an option in the iTunes Store to accept donations ranging from $5 up to $200. 100% of all collected funds will go to the American Red Cross, who in turn will provide aid to disaster victims.

About 5 percent of Apple’s revenue last quarter was from sales in Japan, according to Reuters. Revenue from the country rose to $1.4 billion during this period.

The original Japanese launch date of the iPad 2 was slated for March 25th, but Apple has yet to announce the revised launch date for the region. Launch delays elsewhere were not mentioned and are still on schedule.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-03-16 (Update: 2012-05-26)