Third Time's the Charm for iPad Supply Chain

By Freddie Pierce
Rolling out space-age products to the entire first world is no small feat, especially when you're held to the standard of Apple's passionate...

Rolling out space-age products to the entire first world is no small feat, especially when you're held to the standard of Apple's passionate - and passionately impatient - consumer base. Despite generally impressive supply chain operations, the last two iPad releases were mired by brief but tense disruptions.

Well no more! The latest iteration of the trend-setting iPad has been made available to anyone in the selected 35 countries who can pay for it, with 12 new countries being added to the mix by the end of this week. So far, Apple has managed to avoid any major complaints about service or delivery, satisfying exacting MacHeads everywhere.

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It's likely that Apple's continuing management focus on its supply chain operations are to be credited with the flawless execution. Former supply chain chief and current CEO Tim Cook has shown real commitment to meeting the nearly insatiable customer demand for both product performance and precision support.

He's also seen fit to make substantial reforms in a supply chain that's often been criticized for its human cost, which included a rash of suicides at its principal supplier, Foxconn, as well as widespread labor abuses ranging from illegally low pay to mandatory 80-hour weeks.

As the iPad 3's well-executed release demonstrates, a critical public interest in Apple's supply chain operations can only make lives better - for suppliers and demanders both.

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