Shipments of millions of Apple, Samsung and Sony smartphones could be hit by delays of up to six months following a fire at a Chinese factory which supplies 15% of the world's memory chips.
Production at the factory in Wuxi, China was suspended due to the blaze with the expected shortage forcing up the the price of memory chips by 19% on Sunday.
The South Korean company SK Hynix which owns the factory is the world's second-biggest memory chip maker, accounting for around 30% of the global market, of which half comes from its Wuxi factory. The firm's customers include Apple, Samsung, Dell and Sony.
SK Hynix said: ‘Our plan is to resume normal operations with full production capacity in the shortest time by ramping up operations in stages as soon as the damaged facilities are replaced, but the company did not give a time frame.
However analysts raised concerns this week. ‘We still don’t know the extent of the damage or how long it will take for full operations to resume,’ said Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Mark Newman, whilst market research firm Trendforce predicted: ‘The shipment of nearly 11 million notebooks and 10 million smartphones will be affected within a month.’