Japan is still reeling from one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded and the after effects might be more devastating than we ever anticipated with seven of Sony’s plants still shut. The plants make a range of devices, from Blu-ray discs to batteries, some of which go to other overseas manufacturers.
Halts at two of Toshiba’s factories could mean production delays for Apple’s iPad 2, the tablet uses memory chips from the Japanese firm, with batteries made by Apple Japan and screens believed to be from Asahi Glass.
Other affected firms include Canon, Panasonic and chipmaker Renasas, even unaffected Japanese manufacturers face hurdles from logistics and shipping issues.
I have been in the video industry for over 25 years and this is the first time in my life that we are talking about main stream camcorders and lenses not being available for a minimum of 6 months or more.
This could wipe out dealerships globally who depend on video equipment for a living, main stream video camcorders from Sony and Panasonic are already running short of stock and in some cases certain models have dried up with no lead times less than 6 months.
I spoke to the UK supplier of Voightlander lenses last week and he told me that Cosina who make the lenses are struggling to complete orders as some of their component manufacturing companies have been badly affected, the NOKTON 25mm f0.95 mFT lens has had a global upsurge in orders since the introduction of the Panasonic AF101.
Nikon lenses are becoming like hens teeth with no prospects of deliveries in the near future.
This is all very doom and gloom but the Japanese earthquake on the 11th of March 2011 has changed the world forever, knocking the Earth of it’s axis by 25cm is bad enough, the terrible loss of life in Japan has been heartbreaking but the one thing we all know about the Japanese is their ability to come out of this stronger with their heads held high.
Take your time, the western world can wait, we have enjoyed your wonderful technology for the last 30 years, maybe it’s about time some of us learned to have patience and that includes myself, we expect every new gadget yesterday so this is a good time to reflect on our hunger for new toys and let the Japanese get back to some kind of normality.