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Asian Riots, Chip Issues Might Cause iPhone 5 Shortage Less Than 3 Weeks After Release Date

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A possible shortage of the iPhone 5 may result from labor disputes and manufacturing difficulties at factory locations in Asia.

Disputes arose over the weekend at Hon Hai Precision Industry, one of Apple’s Asian manufacturers, according to The Wall Street Journal. However, Hon Hai denied that the disagreements hindered production.

On the other hand, China Labor Watch said a full day of production was disrupted at an iPhone 5 factory when approximately 4,000 factory workers went on strike. In addition, an argument at another Chinese factory owned by Hon Hai resulted in a riot that caused 40 injuries.

A certain chip used to store iPhone data may also cause issues for supplying the iPhone 5, according to analysts. The NAND flash memory, a chip in almost every consumer-electronic gadget, has recently experienced escalating prices because of a high demand from electronics manufacturers.

In addition, new display technology used by the iPhone 5 is more difficult to produce compared to conventional displays. This could add to problems with supplying iPhones to meet the currently elevated demand.

Hong Kong has already experienced these shortages, according to AllThingsD, and carriers are not offering delivery until late October or early November.

One option for customers trying to get their hands on an iPhone 5 is the Apple Store lottery, which uses a lottery process to determine who is eligible for pickup at the store the next day, Topeka analyst Brian White told AllThingsD.

However, White added that one may have a better chance at winning the actual lottery than getting the iPhone 5 within a day.


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