Rumor: iPhone 7s to run Intel-made modem chip

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 18, 2015

A claimed logic board that recently leaked strongly indicated that Apple’s upcoming ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ smartphone upgrades will use an improved Qualcomm modem chip, part of its ‘Gobi’ modem platform, with 2x faster LTE download speeds at 300Mbps.

But Apple could be looking to diversify its suppliers two years from now by adding Intel to its supply chain for baseband modems, if sources who spoke with DigiTimes are to be trusted. Read More

 

iPhone 6c apparently launching next summer

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 4, 2015

So-called ‘iPhone 6c,’ the true successor to Apple’s mid-tier iPhone 5c which sells SIM-free for $450, won’t arrive this year as previously rumored.

Instead, the device should drop by the summer of 2016, if a new report by DigiTimes is an indication.

The story backtracks from DigiTimes’ previous report which speculated that the iPhone 6c would launch this fall alongside ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ models.

Be that as it may, the iPhone 6c will reportedly be powered by an Apple-designed chip built on the 14/16nm FinFET process technology by Samsung and rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the sources said. Read More

 

Force Touch for upcoming iPhones has entered mass production

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2015

Both analysts and the rumor-mill agree that a screen which senses force you apply to it should be one of the marquee hardware features of Apple’s upcoming ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ smartphones. Plus, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Apple thinks Force Touch iPhones will be a huge success.

Force Touch for the upcoming iPhones entered trial production earlier this month and now Apple supplier TPK has reportedly ramped up volume manufacturing of the force sensors, according to a report Friday by DigiTimes. Read More

 

Apple considering a switch to Apple Watch touchscreen technology for iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 17, 2015

Apple is rumored to be considering a switch to the Apple Watch’s touchscreen technology for future iPhones as the firm is reportedly unhappy that in-cell panels that current iPhones use are struggling with touch sensitivity on screen edges.

While all iPhone models ranging from the original iPhone to the iPhone 4s were outfitted with the traditional glass (G/G) panels, Apple’s engineers in 2012 switched to in-cell technology for the iPhone 5. Since the iPhone 5, all iPhone models have used in-cell tech.

In-cell technology eliminates a layer by building the capacitors inside the LCD assembly itself, which allows for a notably thinner appearance of the screen.

According to an analysis by DigiTimes Research based on supply chain data and market observers, a 2017 iPhone model (presumably to be called ‘iPhone 7′) is expected to make a switch to G/G, but the upcoming ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ models are expected to still use the in-cell screen assembly process.

Reverting back to using G/G panels would let Apple add more features to iPhones, including ultra-sharp screens and nearly bezel-less appearance. Read More

 

Volume production of Apple’s next-generation ‘A9’ processor for new iPhones has kicked off

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 16, 2015

Volume production of an Apple-designed next-generation “A9” chip, the engine that will power the next iPhone and iPad, has begun at facilities operated by Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry.

According to a report published Friday by DigiTimes, a semi-accurate Taiwanese trade publication, the two rivals get to share orders and both have now started volume production of the chips.

Supply chain sources interviewed by The Wall Street Journal estimate Apple’s ordered a record 80 million units of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units by the end of 2015. Read More

 

iPad Pro rumored to arrive first in mid-November, but in limited quantities

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 13, 2015

Apple’s rumored jumbo-sized iPad may be available in limited quantities when it first ships in mid-November as the Cupertino company has been “rather cautious” with build orders for the device, according to DigiTimes, a hit-and-miss outlet.

Supply chain sources who spoke with the Taiwanese trade publication said that initial shipment volume for the 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ is “much lower” than what most people expect. While DigiTimes is a pretty accurate source of supply chain talk, they’ve had their fair share of misses regarding the timing of Apple product launches.

Back in 2013, DigiTimes incorrectly said an iPad Pro would release in the second half of 2014, for example. Read More

 

Pegatron goes on a hiring spree ahead of next-generation iPhone production

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 6, 2015

With a little more than two months before its assumed September release, contract manufacturer Pegatron is reportedly in the process of hiring as many as 40,000 workers as it makes preparations to kick off assembly work on Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s refresh, according to a DigiTimes report this weekend.

Protek, a Pegatron subsidiary in eastern China, reportedly began recruiting workers at the end of June and will continue to do so until October, one month after the expected launch of the new iPhones.

Protek is planning to hire 40,000 workers in total, said the Taiwanese trade publication. Read More

 

Apple to eliminate Home button by integrating Touch ID fingerprint scanning into iPhone screen

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2015

In addition to getting rid of the unsightly bands on their back, future iPhones could create more room for the screen without enlarging the whole device by putting a virtual Home button along with Touch ID sensors right into its screen.

Not only would such a solution eliminate a “chin” at the iPhone’s bottom but the Cupertino firm has already developed necessary technologies in-house, claimed a report Monday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes. Read More

 

Japanese manufacturers banding together to secure more iPhone orders

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 1, 2015

Though designed in California, the vast majority of Apple’s products are being assembled in China using parts predominantly provided by the vast network of suppliers from Taiwan.

But that may be changing now as Japanese manufacturers are reportedly making a concerted effort to secure more iPhone orders from Apple, according to DigiTimes on Monday.

Citing industry sources, the trade publication claims that Japan-based printed circuit board manufacturer Ibiden has bolstered up its manufacturing capacity as it hopes to solicit more orders from Apple. Read More

 

Apple turning to Chinese suppliers for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus batteries

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2015

Tuesday, a fresh new report claimed Apple’s been seeking additional battery providers for upcoming new iPhones, presumed to be marketed as ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’.

Apple is now sourcing more batteries for iOS devices from Chinese suppliers which have caught up with their Taiwanese competitors in terms of sufficient battery core supply and production capacity. Read More

 

Next iPhone could be even thinner and lighter thanks to smaller LED backlighting chips

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2015

In its never-ending quest of engineering ever thinner and lighter devices, Apple is said to use smaller LED backlighting chips that could, at least theoretically, make the next iPhone(s)—you guessed right— smaller and lighter.

Citing a TrendForce report, DigiTimes said Tuesday that next-generation ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ will adopt smaller LED chips for the display’s backlight unit. The new chips reportedly measure three mm wide, 0.85mm tall and 0.4mm deep versus the 3.0mm x 0.85mm x 0.6mm chips used in the present-generation iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices. Read More

 

Rumor: TSMC building iPhone 6s chips, $400-$500 iPhone 6c to become new entry-level model

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2015

TSMC, or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited, is expected to remain the major supplier of Apple’s in-house designed processors for the upcoming iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

In addition, the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry is said to supply 20-nanomenter chips for an upcoming iPhone 6c model, expected to arrive as Apple’s new entry-level iPhone with a price tag between $400 and $500.

An Apple-designed system-on-a-chip for the next-generation iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models should be called the ‘A9′ and will be built on TSMC’s 16-nanometer FinFET process technology, industry sources told DigiTimes. Read More

 

iPad Pro rumored to adopt oxide LCD display tech

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2015

The rumored iPad Pro could adopt an oxide LCD screen technology, with Sharp, LG Display and Samsung Display all sending out samples, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Thursday.

The company allegedly assessed different technologies ranging from a-Si, TFT LCD and oxide LCD before deciding to go with the latter. The report adds that the iPad Pro will go into mass production in the third quarter of 2015. Read More

 

Buoyant Mac sales seen growing 10-15% in 2015

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 4, 2015

The Mac continues to be a success story. During the last three months of 2014, Apple moved 5.52 million Macs around the world, a fourteen percent annual increase from the 4.84 million units shipped in the year-ago quarter. Apple now sells more Macs than iPods and, more importantly the Mac has been outpacing the rest of the PC industry for years now, consistently posting a double-digit growth.

Exhibit A: Mac shipments for all of 2014 were up 14.43 percent from a year earlier.

During the same periods, global PC shipments were on a downward spiral and declined 2.1 percent versus the previous year. The Mac momentum is expected to go unabated throughout 2015, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers who spoke to DigiTimes. Read More

 

Suppliers projecting 50M iPhone shipments in Q1

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2015

After shipping a record-smashing 74.5 million handsets during the holiday quarter, representing more than half of Apple’s total revenue for the quarter, the Cupertino firm could be poised to move about 50 million iPhone units in the first quarter of this year.

Tuesday, trade publication DigiTimes cited estimates by Taiwanese handset suppliers who expect shipments of iPhone devices to grow from the 43.7 million units in the year-ago quarter to as many as 50 million shipments in Q1 2015, a 14.4 percent annual increase. Read More

 

DigiTimes: 12″ MacBook Air with Retina screen ramping up for Q1 launch, replacing 11-incher

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2015

Contract fabricator Quanta Computer is ramping up production of the highly anticipated MacBook Air model with a twelve-inch screen as Apple preps to launch the forthcoming ultra-portable during the first quarter of this year, if a new report by DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade publication, is an indication.

Well-informed blogger Mark Gurman recently claimed that Apple is expected to raise the bar on notebook portability by engineering a lighter, thinner computer without a fan that ditches standard USB ports, the SD Card slot, Thunderbolt I/O and the MagSafe power connector in favor of a single, fully reversible USB 3.1 Type-C port. Read More

 

Rumor: 12.2″ MacBook Air entering mass production in the first quarter of 2015

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 22, 2014

Apple’s rumored ultra-thin MacBook Air model with a 12.2-inch screen is reportedly entering mass production in the first quarter of 2015, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Monday citing sources from the upstream supply chain.

The Wall Street Journal said in October that production of the ultra-slim notebook with “a higher resolution” screen would commence in December of this year. DigiTimes also added that the Apple Watch is on track for a Spring 2015 release. Read More

 

DigiTimes: Apple getting ready to ramp up Apple Watch production

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2014

Apple’s suppliers are “gearing up” to ramp up Apple Watch production ahead of its early-2015 release, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes said Thursday. While not the most accurate of sources, DigiTimes usually gets supply chain rumors right.

Apple’s retail boss Angela Ahrendts recently told employees that the Apple Watch will be launching in Spring 2015. The device will start out at $349 for the entry-level model with aluminum chassis and plastic band.

The stainless steel model should be priced at $500, with an 18-karat gold variant commanding a price tag between $4,000 and $5,000, according to the rumor-mill. Read More

 

Rumor: Apple switching to laser-cut logo with “shine at the edges” across all 2015 products

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2014

In spite of both The Wall Street Journal and Re/code’s reliable John Paczkowski cautioning against a Retina refresh for Apple’s MacBook Air at tomorrow’s event, the hit-and-miss DigiTimes on Wednesday quoted Taiwanese suppliers as saying that small-volume shipments have already begun.

More interesting than that, sources asserted that the Cupertino firm is planning a major switch to using laser cutting and some advanced embedded technologies to make the Apple logo on products “3D-like and shine at the edges”.

This is allegedly a large-scale effort as all Apple products reportedly are going to feature the new logo in 2015, ”starting with the next-generation iMac”. As a reminder, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks the next iMac with a 5K Retina screen will be unveiled at tomorrow’s event, among other goodies. Read More

 

TSMC reportedly lands contract to build A8X processor for iPad Pro

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2014

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s leading independent semiconductor foundry, has landed a contract to fabricate Apple’s upcoming A8X mobile processor, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Wednesday.

The chip, which leaked on claimed photographs earlier this week, is said to feature faster graphics.

In addition to an improved GPU, it reportedly incorporates twice as much RAM as its A8 counterpart, which powers the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As such, the A8X should power Apple’s rumored ‘iPad Pro’ tablet with an ultra high-resolution 12.9-inch screen. Read More

 
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