By Christian Zibreg on May 29, 2013
We first heard from The New York Times that the world’s top contract manufacturer Foxconn is looking past the iPhone amid Apple’s slowing growth. Reuters previously ran an anti-Apple piece which asserted that Tim Cook & Co. are looking to shift from Foxconn to rival Pegatron, which currently builds the older iPhone 4/4S models.
On Monday, The Wall Street Journal ran a story claiming Foxconn is looking to manufacture, market and sell its own mobile accessories compatible with iOS devices. Moreover, the story goes, Foxconn is said to be expanding its high-margin retail operations and investing in content and services.
Today, the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper sheds more light on the subject, claiming Cook has re-shuffled Apple’s supply chain and re-iterating that Pegatron will be the “primary assembler” of Apple’s rumored low-cost iPhone, which the Journal expects to be offered “later this year”… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2013
Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. aka Foxconn, the world’s top assembler of consumer electronics, is mulling making and selling its own branded accessories in a move to diversify beyond assembling Apple products.
Foxconn over the years has grown increasingly reliant on Apple contract and with increasing competition and Apple’s slowing growth, the manufacturer is starting to feel the pain, too. The Apple biz comprises an estimated 50 percent of Foxconn’s revenue, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
And earlier this month, The New York Times similarly reported that Foxconn is looking beyond the iPhone and anticipating to mass-manufacture a rumored standalone Apple television set… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 13, 2013
Hon Hai Precision Industry aka Foxconn, Apple’s contract manufacturer of choice and the world’s largest product assembler, is under threat to losing orders to rival Pegatron, which has been building older Apple products Like the iPhone 4S and 4.
According to a new Reuters report, Pegatron “wants to grab more orders to assemble the fast-selling iPhone and iPad.” And in order to achieve this self-imposed goal, the Taiwanese manufacturer, which also builds the iPad mini, is reportedly ready to offer “more competitive pricing,” even if it has to sacrifice its margins. The news gathering organization reports that Pegatron “appears to be succeeding” in pulling in more orders from Apple… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 9, 2013
Just a day after contract manufacturer Pegatron warned investors its second-quarter earnings could drop up to 30 percent due to softening demand for iPad mini, other tablets, e-books and games consoles comes word that the company has ramped up hiring as it needs an additional 40,000 workers on top of its existing 100,000 employees.
The 40,000 additional workers are needed to presumably assemble a rumored less-price iPhone model for Apple, Reuters speculated Thursday, reiterating it heard from suppliers that Apple is indeed “developing a cheaper model of the phone” in order to broaden its sales base to lower-income buyers in growth markets such as China and India… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 8, 2013
In another sign of consumers postponing purchasing iPad minis in anticipation of a second-generation model, said to sport Apple’s high-resolution Retina display, contract manufacturer Pegatron has cautioned investors Wednesday to brace themselves for as much as a 30 percent revenue decline when it reports second-quarter earnings, the most since a 37 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Although Pegatron assembles Apples’ iPhone 4S and iPad mini, the Taiwanese corporation also acts as a contract manufacturer for consumer electronics from other makers. But as Apple is one of its principal clients – and given Apple’s high-volume needs – Pegatron attributed the decline to shrinking iPad mini orders… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 7, 2013
NPD DisplaySearch is on a roll. After reporting yesterday that Apple could release two Retina-enabled iPad mini models – one in the second half of this year and another in the first quarter of 2014 with an updated processor, the display market researcher tell CNET today they think those high-resolution Retina panels for the second-generation iPad mini could go into mass-production soon, as early as June or July of this year.
If true, and assuming satisfactory yield rates, Apple should be able to ready its first Retina iPad mini for a Fall introduction, a time frame KGI Securities’ well-informed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently outlined based on his own sources… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 7, 2013
Hon Hai Precision Industry – better known in the Western world as Foxconn – is the world’s top manufacturer of consumer electronics. And with Apple products – the iPhone in particular – accounting for at least 40 percent of its revenue, the contract manufacturer’s fortunes are tied to Apple’s.
Needles to say, the company’s leadership never complained about relying on Apple so much as long as sales were growing substantially. But with Apple’s growth cooling off amid a broader sales lull affecting pricey high-end smartphones like the iPhone, Foxconn is now looking to lessen its exposure on the Apple smartphone and is apparently gearing up for a mass-scale production of an Apple-branded television set, the rumored iTV… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 22, 2013
Apple’s perfectionism is legendary. Good enough just doesn’t cut it for a company whose exacting demands often drive its suppliers and manufacturing partners crazy. This even includes construction companies tasked with building Apple’s upcoming iSpaceship campus with four times narrower gaps between surfaces versus the U.S. construction standard.
We learned earlier this morning that Apple may have returned up to eight million iPhones to Foxconn, apparently because the unites were not fit for sale, potentially costing the contract manufacturer north of $1 billion to make replacements. In fact, Apple’s hard-to-meet standard and various manufacturing challenges could reportedly delay the next wave of iDevice upgrades until Fall.
And today comes another confirmation that Apple won’t launch the iPhone 5S this summer because it is still trying out various coating materials in the hope of finding one that won’t interfere with the handset’s fingerprint sensor… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 17, 2013
An analyst report last Tuesday disappointed folks who were holding their breath for new iPads before this summer. As iDB told you, KGI Securities’ rather accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cited a number of “technical challenges” that Apple is currently facing in manufacturing the second-generation iPad mini and fifth-generation full-size iPad, leading him to believe that both products won’t hit the market until Fall.
I’ve come across an accurate report which might explain that a fire which last week broke out in one of LG Display’s subcontractor plants has forced Apple to frantically seek for alternative suppliers who could supply backlight units for iPads and MacBooks. All options are on table, including the display-making unit of Apple’s frenemy Samsung… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Apr 16, 2013
Remember how Apple’s use of Chinese factories to produce its iPad was the focus of attention during 2012? Well, so did members of the Pulitzer committee, which Monday awarded a 2013 Pulitzer Prize to the New York Times.
The paper won critical awards for its iEconomy series, a nine-part look at the working conditions in Chinese factories producing the popular tablet. But was the series a “penetrating look into business practices by Apple,” as the Pulitzer announcement claims, or simply a way to rehash a common practice by using the Apple brand as the foil? Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2013
Hon Hai Precision Industry aka Foxconn, which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple, but also consumer electronics on behalf of other vendors, has started hiring assembly-line workers in the tens of thousands in preparation for Apple’s next iPhone, both Bloomberg and the credulous Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
People familiar with the matter tell the publications that the world’s largest contract manufacturer has been recruiting workers for the past month at its plant in Zhengzhou, eastern China.
The reports come following February indications pointing to Foxconn imposing a recruitment freeze across almost all of its factories in China after more workers returned from the Chinese New Year break than did last year, a move some attributed to the supposedly weakening iPhone demand… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 30, 2013
Despite the ongoing legal wrangling over mobile technology patents, Samsung to this date remains the only supplier of Apple-designed processors which drive iPhones, iPads and iPods. The South Korean conglomerate has been exclusively building these chips according to Apple’s blueprints at its multi-billion dollar fabrication facility in Austin, Texas.
However, recent chatter increasingly points to rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) possibly stealing the Apple contract from Samsung as Apple looks to further distance itself from its chief rival.
A new report from South Korea alleges Apple has now actually excluded Samsung as a future mobile processor supplier. In turn, TSMC, which is the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry, may produce a significant portion, even possibly all of mobile chips for Apple’s next-gen iPhone 6 to be released in 2014… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2013
Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known in the Western world as Foxconn, is Apple’s favorite manufacturer that assembles a lot of its products, with Pegatron taking care of the rest. Foxconn also helps a number of other tech giants build and assemble their gadgets.
As Apple is its most visible high-volume client, Foxconn’s earnings are often scrutinized for hints of Apple’s sales performance. Today, Foxconn reported a record quarterly profit on increased manufacturing efficiency and output of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, after having solved production bottlenecks in the prior quarter.
The increased revenue and improved profit margins also could mean that Foxconn may have had some room to push Apple for better pricing, Bloomberg reports… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 19, 2013
Earlier this month we told you that Apple’s frenemy Samsung confirmed a plan to pour a cool $112 million into buying a three percent stake in Sharp. Making matters complicated, Sharp, an Apple supplier, has been trying to negotiate another investment from Apple’s favorite manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry, known in the Western world as Foxconn. Last year, as you know, Foxconn was trying to acquire an eleven percent stake in Sharp.
There have been indications that Foxconn wanted to re-negotiate after Sharp’s share price tumbled, but most recent reports assert the deal has all but fallen apart. We’re now hearing that Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has cancelled talks with Sharp after learning that his potential partner has gone to bed with Samsung, even more so now that Sharp is expected to supply more LCD panels to Samsung than to Apple… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2013
Silicon analysts over at Chipworks were able to conclude yesterday that the smaller A5 package, which was recently discovered inside a retooled Apple TV, is still being fabbed on Samsung’s 32-nanometer process rather than on TSMC’s 28-nanometer technology, as some watchers speculate. Compared to its 2012 counterpart, the new A5 with a 2013 die is noticeably smaller, prompting questions on how Apple has managed to achieve a smaller die without changing fabbing technology.
The full A5 floorplan Chipworks published this morning reveals the culprit: the new die is smaller because the package contains just one ARM CPU core. Now, Apple has always rated the Apple TV as single-core, but previous implementations called for dual-core designs with one core intentionally disabled, though still present.
In removing one CPU core altogether, Apple’s silicon team was able to shrink the die size without having to switch to a more sophisticated fabbing process technology… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2013
As we reported Monday, a retooled version of Apple’s $99 set-top box has been found to have a die-shrunk version of the iPad 2′s A5 chip rather than the A5X package, as previously speculated. Some market watchers even thought the new package is fabbed on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) new 28-nanometer process. However, after conducting a thorough analysis of the silicon under sophisticated microscopes, chip wizards over at Chipworks and Silicon-IP have determined that the new A5 package is being fabbed on Samsung’s 32-nanometer process after all… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2013
Apple’s contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry – also know in the Western world as the controversial Foxconn – and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry, will each add 5,000 new jobs just as Apple is conveniently expected to refresh its existing product families and possibly venture into the HD TV and smartwatch markets. If true, the report could also explain “the worst February” Topeka Capital has seen in terms of Apple’s supply chain procurement of components… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 28, 2013
With about four months left until Apple’s worldwide developers conference, chatter intensifies that Apple is re-aligning its suppliers. With both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 allegedly spotted in the wild and leaked parts cropping up on Chinese forums, new reports indicate that Apple has substantially cut iPhone 5 screen and chip orders.
And because Apple is the world’s top chip buyer second only to Samsung, any material change in its orders immediately reflects on the entire industry. Little wonder that researches are now calling for a slow down in semiconductor equipment manufacturer orders… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 20, 2013
Shares of Apple are (again) under pressure as Financial Times issued a report Wednesday that Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer that assembles iPhones and other products for Apple and other tech giants, is putting a freeze on recruitment in China as it slows production of the iPhone 5.
It wasn’t clear whether Foxconn winding down iPhone manufacturing means that Apple is getting ready to produce a next-gen iPhone or that iPhone 5 demand is falling amid fierce competition in the smartphone market, but investors are already punishing the stock which fell in pre-market trading to under $460, even with a Foxconn spokesperson clarifying that the decision wasn’t related to iPhone 5 production as more employees returned from the Chinese New Year break than a year earlier… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2013
According to one analyst, Apple’s suppliers are getting ready for iPhone 5S manufacturing, which should commence in March with a likely summer introduction in mind.
With the next-gen iPhone just a few months away, Apple is apparently winding down some iPhone 5 manufacturing as sales of the handset are “decelerating faster than expected”.
Per the rumor-mill, the iPhone 5S will be a mid-cycle specs upgrade sporting a faster CPU/GPU (likely a new A7 chip). Rumors are also suggesting a higher-resolution camera (possibly a 13-megapixel sensor). Some think Apple will for the first time offer the iPhone in a range of colors, though the handset is expected to retain the current two-tone industrial design… Read More