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Friday, March 25, 2011, 05:45 am PT (08:45 am ET)

Japan disaster hasn't 'meaningfully impacted' Apple's iPad 2 supply

Despite initial concerns that the earthquake in Japan might result in a shortage of components for devices like Apple's iPad 2, a new report says the impact so far has only been "modest" at worst.

Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray said in a note to investors on Friday that he believes demand for the iPad 2 will continue to outstrip supply into the June 2011 quarter. He said the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan will play a part in limited supplies, but not one as great as was originally feared.

"Apple recently reduced US iPad 2 lead times, which suggests the situation in Japan has not meaningfully impacted iPad 2 supply," Munster wrote. "We believe the most critical suppliers are back up and running following the earthquake and the impact to supply will be modest."

Munster said that both iPad 2 and iPhone 4 supply could be impacted with delays of one to two weeks. That's more optimistic than some earlier takes on the situation, like one that suggested the Japan disaster could leave Apple with a shortage of five key components of the iPad 2.

Just last week, Munster reported that the production status from Apple's Japanese component suppliers was changing hour by hour. But at the time, none of Apple's partners could quantify the damage at their facilities.

Though Apple has experienced crushing demand for the iPad 2 in the U.S. since its launch earlier this month, the company this week improved shipping time estimates to between three and four weeks, suggesting supply is catching up with demand. The change came as Apple begins selling the iPad 2 in 25 countries around the world at 5 p.m. local time today.