War on Korean Peninsula Could Have "Catastrophic" Consequences to Electronics Market

Paul Lilly

Korea is a major supplier of electronics parts.

Analysts at IHS iSuppli spent some time pondering what would happen if current tensions in Korea escalate to the point of a war on the Korean peninsula, and what they determined is that it could theoretically cripple the global electronics business. South Korea is a major cog in the electronics supply chain, as it accounts for half of the world's DRAM output, two-thirds of NAND flash manufacturing, and 70 percent of the world's tablet display.

IHS iSuppli says chaos would ensue if war were to break out in the region, and that it's such a serious threat, some forward-thinking technology firms are planning for such a contingency in the same way they prepare for other natural and man-made disasters that could negatively impact their businesses.

"South Korea now plays a more important role than ever in the global electronics business. And with the supply chain having become more entwined and connected, a significant disruption in any region will impact the entire world. Because of this, it is important for companies to understand the magnitude of South Korea’s role in the global electronics market—and to prepare for any contingencies," said Mike Howard , senior principal analyst for DRAM & memory at IHS.

Such a scenario could bring about a quick and significant impact on consumers. According to Howard, even just a disruption of six months could halt the shipment of hundreds of millions of mobile phones and tens of millions of PCs.

Food for thought.

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