Fire in China delays Apple smartphones

SHIPMENTS of millions of computers and smartphones could be delayed  for up to six months following a  blaze at a Chinese factory which supplies 15 per cent of the world's memory chips.

Prices of memory chips jumped by 19 per cent yesterday after South Korean manufacturer SK Hynix said it had suspended production at its factory in Wuxi, China, after a fire broke out earlier this week.

SK Hynix is the world's second-biggest memory chip maker, accounting for around 30 per cent of the global market, half of which come from its Wuxi factory. The firm's customers include Apple, Samsung, Dell and Sony.

SK Hynix said key production equipment had not been damaged and supply would not be "materially affected", but market research firm Trendforce  said: "The shipment of nearly 11 million notebooks and 10 million smartphones will be affected within a month."