Tragic Foxconn plant explosion may affect iPad 2 supply after all

Apple has the best selling tablet on the market with the iPad 2 burning up the sales charts and moving in very large numbers. When the iPad 2 launched it was hard for folks in some areas to get their hands on the tablet and that led to long waits in some areas for the tablets to get in stock. Apple has since the launch been able to ramp production to levels that meet the demand for the most part. Late last week there was an explosion at the Foxconn plant where the iPad 2 is made that resulted in several workers going to the hospital and three dying from injuries sustained in the explosion.

Chairman of Foxconn's parent company Hon Hai, Terry Gou, took the opportunity during the ensuing chaos to claim that the supply of the iPad and other iPhone and iPad related products would not be affected. According to iSuppli's analysis that claim may turn out to be false. According to iSuppli, the production of 500,000 iPads is at risk from the explosion each month. The shortage of tablets depends on the outcome of the investigation into the cause of the explosion and assumes the investigation keeps the assembly line shut down until the end of June.

iSuppli notes that most of the iPad 2 production is being sent to another plant in Shenzhen, but that plant may not be able to compensate for all of the lost output. That other facility can produce 7.5 million units for Q2. iSuppli estimates that 7.4 million iPad 2 tablets will ship during Q2, and Foxconn needs to make and ship between 7.8 and 8.1 million units for Q2. The numbers show that Foxconn will fall short of shipping goals by 300,000 to 600,000 units for the quarter making the iPad 2 harder to find.

[via Foxconn]