By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2016
A whopping 11.5 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, so-called Panama Papers leak, reportedly suggest that the world’s top contract fabricator Foxconn, which assembles iPhones and many other consumer electronics products for other tech firms, may have evaded taxes worth up to a massive $22.86 billion via investments in Panama’s offshore companies.
Foxconn vehemently denied its involvement in the Panama Papers scandal. In an eyebrow-raising move, the Taiwanese firm then dropped veiled threat it might resort to suing news publications that make up such rumors, according to DigiTimes on Friday. Read More
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
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 30, 2016
It’s finally official: the world’s leading contract fabricator, Foxconn, which assembles iPhones and other products for Apple and other consumer electronics companies, has purchased the struggling Japanese giant Sharp, one of Apple’s display panel suppliers, in a deal valued at a reported $3.5 billion.
As reported today by The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn believes this transaction will improve its position on the technology value chain and has plans to expand Sharp’s production capacity and invest in the production of OLED screens that future iPhones are expected to adopt. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2016
As previously reported, Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer Foxconn has made a $6.2 billion bid to acquire the ailing Japanese consumer electronics maker Sharp, which has been in the business for a cool 103 years now. Although Sharp’s board has made the decision to accept the offer last Thursday, it seems the acquisition is not a done deal after all.
As reported Friday by The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn is reportedly delaying the signing of the takeover agreement after it had been “surprised” by new information Sharp had disclosed just a day before. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2016
The Wall Street Journal has it on good authority that Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract fabricator that assembles products for Apple and other companies, is buying Sharp, an iPhone display supplier.
Sharp has been in financial crisis for several years and banks have bailed it out twice in three years.
Foxconn has reportedly offered approximately ¥625 billion, or about $5.3 billion, to acquire Sharp. Back in 2013, Foxconn was supposed to buy a large stake in Sharp, but the deal quickly collapsed over share price dispute. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 14, 2016
Korean outlet ET News said Thursday that a contract between Samsung and Apple on supplying flexible OLED screens for future iPhones has practically been agreed upon, with the South Korean conglomerate committing to a whopping $7.4 billion in capital expenditure over the next couple of years to buy OLED manufacturing equipment needed to produce about 30,000 to 45,000 OLED sheets per month.
Although Apple is said to have secured agreements with other panel makers for OLED technology, the size of the investment suggests that Samsung is about to become Apple’s biggest flexible OLED provider. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 4, 2015
Sharp, the ailing Japanese consumer electronics company, is about to start mass production of its Super IGZO panels for mobile devices that will have a higher resolution and consume up to twenty percent less energy than the company’s standard IGZO panels, which already use just a fifth as much power as standard liquid crystal displays.
Super IGZO panels will go into mass production in early 2016, according to a report Friday by Nikkei. The panels will be manufactured at Sharp’s Kameyama Plant No.2 located in Mie Prefecture as the ailing company seeks to replace “some unprofitable television panels” on the conveyor belts. Read More
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
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
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 26, 2015
Samsung lifted trade secrets from rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), the world’s #1 independent semiconductor foundry, Taiwan’s top court has ruled.
According to a report published Wednesday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, the court has determined that Liang Mong-song, a former senior director of research and development at TSMC, revealed TSMC’s trade secrets and patents related to its advanced FinFET process technology to Samsung Electronics.
The report makes no mention of Apple, but the connection couldn’t be clearer: Samsung might have been able to leverage the stolen secrets to win orders for Apple’s next-generation ‘A9’ processor. Prior reports have posited that both Samsung and TSMC got to build Apple’s A9 chips on the advanced 14-nanometer FinFET process technology which uses entirely new three-dimensional transistors. Read More
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
By Cody Lee on Jun 11, 2015
Apple’s high profile manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology is in talks with government officials to build iPhones in India, reports Reuters. An Industries Minister told the publication that “Foxconn is sending a delegation of their officers to scout for locations in a month’s time.”
Altogether the Taiwanese-based tech giant, which is the world’s larger contract maker of electronics, is aiming to develop 10-12 facilities in India, including factories and data centers. No additional details regarding the plans were given, but Reuters says the goal is to be done by 2020. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 15, 2015
Quanta Computer, which assembles the Apple Watch, has been plagued with poor yield rates resulting in capacity problems that have led to limited shipments of the device. As a result, Apple has been struggling to meet orders and has been unable to roll out the device to additional markets to this date.
But production woes are now a thing of the past as Quanta vice chairman CC Leung confirmed solving production bottlenecks, according to a report Friday by DigiTimes, a somewhat reliable Taiwanese trade publication. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 11, 2015
Apple is considering a major expansion of its key Irish operation just months after completing a massive €300 million (about $335 million) development in the country, according to Independent.ie Monday.
Already employing more than 4,000 people in Ireland and its Cork plant in Hollyhill, the latest expansion should deliver a multi-million euro boost to the move. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2015
Samsung’s has devoted a team comprised of two-hundred skilled engineers to build mobile displays exclusively for Apple. The move indicates that the two technology giants are strengthening business ties, patent disputes notwithstanding, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
The team formed April 1 and also helps with sales, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. In addition to the improved business relationship, analysts think the exclusivity of the business arrangement might indicate that Samsung Display could win more screen orders from Apple in the near future. Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2015
Ahead of its upcoming Code Asia conference, Foxconn granted tech publication Recode guided access to its manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China where it assembles iPads, Macs and other products. We’ve seen similar behind-the-scenes reports in the past, but today’s piece offers a current look at employee conditions inside one of Foxconn’s largest factories.
During their tour, Recode says that it observed both the remnants of past tragedies and several signs of improvements. For instance, there are still nets atop of buildings to help prevent suicide jumps, and many buildings are still covered in rust and grime. But Foxconn has added several college-like amenities such as a track, multiple swimming pools and an Internet Cafe. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 6, 2015
Boy, is LG Display on a roll today. Not only has the company’s website inadvertently pre-announced a supposedly upcoming iMac refresh featuring an 8K resolution Retina screen, but a well-informed LG Display related official ostensibly said Apple is also “creating iPads with a 12-inch display,” based on a very power-efficient oxide LCD screen technology, Taiwanese publication ETNews reported Monday.
Oxide LCD, also known as IGZO, requires a fraction of power compared to LCD IPS screens on current iPads, while rendering more vibrant colors and deeper blacks with quick response times and high color saturation. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2015
Taiwan-based Quanta Computer, the principal Apple Watch manufacturer, is experiencing what could only be described as extremely low defect-free rate of less than thirty percent as it continues to struggle with low yield issues.
And in order to help solve purported manufacturing issues, Quanta has enlisted help of three-thousand workers from Foxconn to improve the yield rate, according to G for Games Thursday citing Taiwanese media. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 2, 2015
Apple’s dream of engineering an unbreakable iPhone has shattered spectacularly to pieces after its ambitiously conceived manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona has failed to produce sapphire-hardened sheets of glass on an industrial scale, prompting its partner GT Advanced Technology to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But that doesn’t mean there’s no just as grand plan B for the mega-facility.
Bloomberg is reporting, and Apple has confirmed, that the Arizona plant will become a “command center” for Apple’s worldwide network of data center. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 8, 2015
A photograph of a manufacturing mold for the rear shell of an ‘iPad Pro’ was posted Thursday to China’s Weibo microblogging service, indicating that Apple’s ostensibly larger iPad model could be entering mass production pretty soon.
As first reported by MacRumors, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the supposed mold is for an actual iPad Pro shell or for a dummy unit which was posted online back in May 2014. Read More