Victims of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that has spread through parts of Asia and created worldwide health concerns are not limited to human beings; some industry segments have also been afflicted. The rapid spread of the disease in China and other parts of the Pacific Rim could derail the electronics industry, warns the Aberdeen Group, an IT consulting firm.
"[M]anufacturing disruptions, travel bans and transportation delays related to SARS jeopardize the availability of semiconductors, electronic components, low-level assemblies, and system product sourced in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and nearby countries," Aberdeen said in a statement announcing a new report, SARS Virus Attacks the Electronics Industry.
"For the past 18 months, digital consumer technologies such as wireless home networking gear have sold strongly and continue to be a bright spot," says Russ Craig, a technology analyst at Aberdeen and co-author of the report. "Unfortunately, most of this technology is produced in the Asia- Pacific region, particularly in the PRC."
Components built in major manufacturing centers affected by the virus end up in myriad consumer products, such as PCs, laptops and DVD players. Thus, Western electronics companies could face major problems if their suppliers experience major disruptions, says Craig. "These [companies] need to have contingency planning in place," he adds.
The report is available at www.aberdeen.com