iPhone SE is more popular than Apple anticipated so it’s boosting production

By Christian Zibreg on May 3, 2016

Due to stronger-than-expected sales of the four-inch iPhone SE, Apple has boosted production of the handset in the second quarter of this year, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Tuesday.

Citing industry sources, DigiTimes claims Apple’s just increased orders for the iPhone SE to more than five million units from the original plan of 3.5-4 million units in the second quarter of 2016. Read More

 

Ultra-thin MacBooks with metal injection mold-made hinges due in second half of 2016?

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2016

Apple is expected to revamp the rest of its notebook lineup around ultra-thin MacBook models later this summer, which poses questions regarding the future of the existing MacBook Air lineup as Apple’s thinnest notebooks. In a new report Friday, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes cited local component makers as saying that they are starting to see increasing competition for related component orders ahead of a rumored launch of “new ultra-thin MacBooks in the second half of 2016.” Read More

 

Samsung and other suppliers secure orders for second-generation Apple Watch parts

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 14, 2016

According to Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, which knows this stuff inside out, Apple’s Asian suppliers are now starting to receive orders for the components that will be used in a second-generation Apple Watch.

Samsung, along with other overseas manufacturers like Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, have reportedly secured component orders for the Apple Watch 2, which one analyst believes could be up to forty percent thinner and debut at Apple’s annual developers conference this summer. Read More

 

DigiTimes: Apple turns to established Chinese server vendor to bolster iCloud infrastructure

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 11, 2016

Apple has reportedly started buying servers from a government-backed Chinese firm, called Inspur, to use in its data centers, Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reported this morning. Apple’s never confirmed nor denied industry speculation that much of its iCloud data centers run on Amazon’s Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure platforms.

That being said, Apple’s reportedly embarked on a project to migrate iCloud services to its own data centers in order to satisfy increasing demand for iOS devices, reduce expenses and further reduce any possibility of attacks on the iCloud platform. Read More

 

Apple supplier Sharp starts prepping AMOLED production lines, likely for future iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 6, 2016

Hot on the heels of a reported $3.5 billion acquisition of Sharp by Apple’s contract fabricator Foxconn, Sharp has reportedly begun setting up production lines dedicated to churning out AMOLED smartphone panels as Apple is said to be lining up suppliers to support its major move to outfit future iPhones with AMOLED screen technology.

According to a report Wednesday by DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade publication, Sharp is setting up three production lines that should have total monthly capacity of 9.85 million 5.5-inch equivalent AMOLED panels. Read More

 

Rumor: Apple planning massive 5.8-inch iPhone model with AMOLED display

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 8, 2016

Citing Taiwan-based Apple supply chain makers, Taiwanese publication DigiTimes wrote in a pre-publication note yesterday that Apple is planning a huge iPhone model with a 5.8-inch screen based on the superior AMOLED display technology.

Apple is reportedly rumored to “have plans to launch a 5.8-inch iPhone featuring rigid AMOLED display panels in 2018 or even earlier in 2017,” reads the note. Currently, Apple’s iPhone 6/6s series is offered in two screen sizes—4.7 and 5.5 inches—while the older iPhone 5s and the upcoming ‘iPhone SE’ address the market segment for four-inch smartphones. Read More

 

DigiTimes: Apple testing dual-lens cameras for iPhone 7 Plus from three different suppliers

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 2, 2016

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is adamant that Apple is working on a premium edition of an ‘iPhone 7 Plus’ that will come outfitted with dual-lens cameras for telephoto functions and today DigiTimes is reporting that Apple is already testing dual lenses for the handset sourced from three different suppliers.

The hit-and-miss Taiwanese trade publication has it on good authority, citing sources from the upstream supply chain, that Apple supplier Largan Technology and two unnamed Japan and China-based vendors have shipped dual-lens camera samples to 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California, for testing. Read More

 

iPad Air 3 rumored to have 4K screen, 4GB of RAM and improved battery

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2016

Apple is widely expected to announce a third-generation iPad Air at a March event in a few weeks time and the latest supply chain chatter has it that the device will come outfitted with an ultra sharp display boasting a 4K resolution, or nearly four times the pixels of Apple’s current-generation 9.7-inch 2,048-by-1,536 pixel Retina display.

According to Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, it’ll also have an improved battery life and feature four gigabytes of RAM versus the iPad Air 2’s two gigs of RAM. Read More

 

iPhone 7 rumored to be waterproof, hide the antenna bands

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2015

According to a new supply chain rumor out of Taiwan, Apple’s ‘iPhone 7’ will be waterproof and feature a brand new antenna-concealing technology that will hide those unsightly antenna bands which iPhone 6/6s owners have been complaining about.

As reported this morning by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, Apple’s supplier Catcher Technologies will provide the iPhone 7 chassis which is said to be waterproof and use “new compound materials”. Read More

 

Rumor: Apple TV 5 with ‘dramatically improved’ CPU and ‘new functions’ due in early-2016

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 4, 2015

The fourth-generation Apple TV has been available for less than two months and already talk is turning to a next-generation model.

A new report by DigiTimes, a hit-and-miss Taiwanese trade publication, cites unnamed supply chain sources as saying that a fifth-generation Apple TV with a brand new CPU and a heat-dissipation solution is entering into trial production in December and volume production in the first quarter of 2016. Read More

 

Apple supplier LG Display building $4 billion OLED plant

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2015

LG Display, which supplies Apple with flexible OLED screens for the Apple Watch and LCD panels for other gadgets, is reportedly building a brand new facility that will significantly increase its OLED panel production as the firm looks to meet expected market demand as of 2017 onwards, according to a report from Korea’s Digital Times cited by DigiTimes.

The new plant will cost north of $4 billion to build, with assembly lines expected to start churning out OLED panels for smartphones, tablets and TVs sometime between 2017-2018. Read More

 

iPhone 7 to run Synaptics’s display driver chips as Apple delays own in-house single-chip solution

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2015

Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes is reporting that Apple has placed orders for display driver chips from supplier Synaptics for 2016 iPhones. This is interesting because rumors were swirling back in 2014 that Apple was buying Renesas SP Drivers, a division of Renesas Electronics and a sole supplier of LCD driver chips for iPhones.

The deal was supposed to help Apple “improve image sharpness and battery life” on iPhones, but negotiations broke down. Renesas was later acquired by touchscreen chipmaker Synaptics which wanted to combine its touch technology with Renesas’ display drivers into one chip. Read More

 

Get ready for iPad Pro shortages as Apple faces constrained availability of IGZO display panels

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 15, 2015

Launch supply of Apple’s new iPad Pro could be constrained as the supply of panels for the 12.9-inch device faces shortages, DigiTimes reported Tuesday. As per their supply chain analysis, iPad Pro shipments are expected to reach less than 3 million units in the fourth quarter of this year, which amounts to an average of one million iPad Pros a month. Read More

 

iPhone 7 rumored to switch back to using glass-on-glass screen technology

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 2, 2015

Unhappy with the in-cell screen process used in production of iPhone displays which is plagued with lower touch sensitivity on screen edges, Apple is reportedly considering a return to glass-on-glass (G/G) touchscreen panels for an ‘iPhone 7,’ a technology it ditched with the release of the iPhone 5 in the fall of 2012.

According to a somewhat sketchy report published Wednesday by DigiTimes, Apple is currently sampling glass-on-glass touch samples for 2016 iPhones.

If true, the iPhone 7—or whatever a 2016 iPhone ends up being named—will feature better touch accuracy, improved Multi-Touch performance and better touch detection on screen edges. In addition, glass-on-glass technology would permit the company to develop a bezel-free iPhone and support 4K resolutions. Read More

 

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

 
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