- On October 20, fire took place at an AKM Semiconductor audio chip factory in Japan.
- This resulted in the devastation of the entire factory and will take six months to recover.
- If AKM doesn't get functional within the said time, it is likely camera industry will be badly affected.
Many Japanese camera makers will halt the supply of their products in the coming months. This is due to fire blazing at an AKM Semiconductor audio chip factory in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. AKM (Asahi Kasei Microdevices) is responsible for producing parts that are important to the production of A/V products such as analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analog converters (DACs).
As per the report, the fire took place on October 20 and burnt for three days uncontrollably. This resulted in the devastation of the entire factory. SemiMedia reported that the factory repair will take at least six months. The publication also notes the audio industry is panic buying to ensure that the supply chain of manufacturers isn't affected in the near future.
For now, the camera manufacturers are certainly alert and being careful about meeting the demand of the users. Inside Imaging, an Australian news website, even claims to have been told by a source that Canon, Nikon and Sony "pulled back support for Black Friday promotions" due to a shortage of supply. Though the camera companies are yet to comment on this officially.
But, in recent news, Sony Japan did issue an apology regarding a supply chain shortage. While this can be a coincidence, it is also possible that the camera companies have been genuinely hit because of the fire incident.
Published on Sony Japan's website, it says, "In the digital imaging category (Cyber-shot, , Handycam, Action cam), it is expected that some models will not be able to supply enough to meet the demand due to the problem of parts supply, so it will take a while until the product is delivered. It may take some time."
"In addition, for certain models with tight supply, we have decided to suspend the acceptance of orders from distributors to us and the acceptance of orders from customers at Sony stores after December 3, 2020. Regarding the resumption of order acceptance, we will consider it while observing the status of parts supply, and will inform you separately on the product information page."
Sony might have a stockpile of those important parts but what about other camera companies? If AKM doesn't get functional within the said amount of time, it is likely the camera industry will be badly affected.