Foxconn makes a $5.3 billion offer to buy ailing iPhone display supplier Sharp

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

 

Rumor: Samsung pouring $7+ billion into flexible OLED production for iPhones

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

 

Apple supplier Sharp about to kick off mass production of energy-saving Super IGZO panels

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

 

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

 

Official: Samsung stole trade secrets from TSMC

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

 

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

 

Foxconn looking to open first iPhone manufacturing plant in India

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

 

Apple Watch manufacturer reportedly solves production hiccups

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

 

Apple to expand key Irish operation as demand for products grows

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

 

Samsung creates 200-people team exclusively building screens for Apple

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

 

Latest behind-the-scenes Foxconn report depicts improved worker conditions

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

 

Apple yet again rumored to switch to power-friendlier IGZO screens for next-gen iPads

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

 

Apple Watch manufacturer experiencing extremely low defect-free rate

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

 

Failed sapphire plant to become global command center for Apple cloud

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

 

Claimed iPad Pro manufacturing mold shown in leaked photo

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

 

Apple rumored to be switching to OLED screens for future iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 8, 2015

Apple is teaming up with its contract manufacturer Foxconn on building OLED-based screens for future smartphones and wearables, GforGames reported Thursday citing a fresh report from Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, one of the leading newspapers in Japan.

Foxconn is said to be working with touch panel company InnoLux, also an Apple supplier, to put together an ecosystem which will allow the production of sixth-gen low temperature poly-silicon films, aimed at entering mass production in 2016. Read More

 

Tim Cook ‘deeply offended’ by BBC’s allegations of factory worker mistreatment

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

An undercover documentary released yesterday by the BBC about working conditions in Pegatron’s iPhone factories has reportedly sent CEO Tim Cook and the rest of Apple’s executive team through the roof, The Telegraph reported Friday.

BBC’s investigative report makes fresh allegations about continued poor working conditions at the iPhone manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Shanghai. The documentary’s found poor treatment of workers after Apple’s stated several times that it’s cleaned up its act.

The full video of the BBC documentary surfaced on YouTube this morning though it’s probably going to get taken down soon so we’ve embedded it for your viewing pleasure. Read More

 

Foxconn’s upcoming $2.6 billion plant rumored to produce iPhone sapphire screens

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 26, 2014

Its deal with GT Advanced Technology — which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to ramp up sapphire production in time for the iPhone 6 launch — has collapsed but Apple isn’t giving up on the precious gemstone entirely yet.

A report Wednesday by Focus Taiwan alleged that Foxconn’s upcoming $2.6 billion facility in central China will be churning out screens for Apple’s mobile devices that use synthetic sapphire crystals for increased durability and protection. Read More

 

Apple said to discontinue iPhone 5c in 2015

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 26, 2014

According to the latest supply chain chatter, Apple may discontinue its unapologetically plastic handset, the iPhone 5c, by the summer of next year.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Taiwan’s Industrial and Commercial Times said Wednesday that the Cupertino firm will be phasing out the iPhone 5c around mid-2015, ostensibly because the company is pleased with high demand for the latest 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 smartphones.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently made a similar suggestion, estimating Apple would wind down production of both the iPhone 5c and 4s in 2015 after promotional plans. Read More

 
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