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iPad Factory Explosion May Lessen Apple's Supply

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iPad Factory Explosion May Lessen Apple's Supply

Apple

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An explosion at a Shanghai iPad supplier that injured 61 workers over the weekend may also mean fewer tablets for Apple, reports said today.

The explosion at the Riteng Computer Accessory Co., a subsidiary of Apple supplier Pegatron Corp., was caused by a blast in dust collection equipment, Pegatron said in a statement. The New York-based group China Labor Watch said that preliminary reports say the explosion was caused by aluminum dust from polishing cases. Twenty-seven workers were hospitalized, but none had life-threatening injuries. A similar explosion occurred last May at a Foxconn factory, another Chinese Apple supplier. 

"Our hearts go out to the people who were hurt in Songjiang. We are working closely with Pegatron to understand the cause of this accident," Carolyn Wu, a spokeswoman for Apple in China told the Associated Press.

The explosion is likely to cause a drop in iPad supply for Apple, according to Mobiledia. Apple has been expanding its manufacturing base to keep up with demand, including opening a plant in Brazil, and also readying for its iPad 3 in the spring. A supply-chain disruption now could push back the iPad 3 launch and cost Apple milions just as it's competing with its most stealthy opponent yet, Amazon's Kindle Fire.
 
The blast also highlights the safety conditions at Apple's Chinese suppliers, which will also take time and money away from Apple's products -- as it should. Apple's workers, be they in China, Brazil or the United States, should all be protected from safety hazards.

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