Nintendo 3DS teardowns from two research firms show that the Japanese gaming giant spent roughly $100 on raw materials and basic manufacturing for its 3D hand held gaming system; consumers must spend $250.
UBM TechInsights took apart the 3DS and estimated $101 worth of materials and manufacturing labor inside. The single biggest change was in the type of memory Nintendo used, it said.
According to Allan Yogasingam, technical marketing manager at UBM TechInsights, Nintendo embedded a proprietary Fujitsu memory chip called FC (Fast Cycle) RAM with 120MB worth of storage. That's an upgrade from previous DS devices in many ways, but as the recent earthquake shows, it bears its own supply chain risks.
FC RAM boasts DDR 3-like speeds, but consumes less power. It is also cheaper, easier to manufacture, and has a smaller footprint resembling lower-powered DDR. But despite performance improvements, the recent earthquake shows that opting for one supplier could be a "potentially dangerous move," Yogasingam said. An unexpected incident at the plant could delay production, for starters. Most consumer electronic makers will source a single component from a pool of suppliers.
The effects of the Japanese earthquake may affect Apple's production of the iPad 2, according to market researcher IHS iSuppli.
The firm said it believes that Apple's iPad 2 uses components from several manufacturers affected by the earthquake, as well as the reactors in the area which workers are attempting to keep intact, if not functioning.
Apple representatives were not able to be contacted after hours. The company has already delayed the iPad 2 launch in Japan following the earthquake in Japan a week ago, which has not been rated magnitude 9.0 by the U.S. Geological Service. The iPad 2, which went on sale in the U.S. last Friday, was scheduled to launch in Japan on March 25.
iSuppli said it had identified five parts sourced from Japanese suppliers whose supplies may be affected by the quake: NAND flash from Toshiba, dynamic random access memory (DRAM) made by Elpida Memory, an electronic compass from AKM Semiconductor, the touch screen overlay glass likely from Asahi Glass Co. and the system battery from Apple Japan Inc.