Just one part missing from an electronics device can halts its entire production, hence the ongoing concern about supplies of components from disaster-hit Japan. Base materials, such as the availability of silicon wafers from which chips are cut, have also been a focus and analysts at IHS iSuppli on Friday even fretted about the effect of possible shortages of hydrogen peroxide (molecules pictured), better known as bleach, for cleaning purposes. Read more

In the days immediately after the Japan earthquake, there was great concern of a worst-case scenario of severe disruption to the global technology supply chain that would halt or severely delay production of computers, smartphones or – horrors of horrors – the iPad 2.

Now more than a week later, it is still difficult to quantify the exact toll the quake will exact on tech production. But a somewhat clearer, and more measured, account of what is or is not under threat is emerging. And, thankfully, the situation for now looks to be not as dire as many people originally thought.

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