Samsung suspends Galaxy Note 7 production

By Cody Lee on Oct 9, 2016

Samsung has temporarily halted production of its troubled Galaxy Note 7, reports Korean news agency Yonhap. The move follows decisions made on Sunday by multiple carriers, including AT&T and T-Mobile, to stop offering new units as replacements for those affected by the recall.

An anonymous source tells the outlet that the suspension in production is in cooperation with consumer safety regulators from South Korea, and various other countries, and that the measure includes a manufacturing plant in Vietnam that is responsible for global Note 7 shipments. Read More


TSMC to start mass producing 10nm chips nearly a year ahead of Intel

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2016

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), which builds Apple’s in-house designed A10 Fusion chip that powers the iPhone 7, has confirmed mass production of ten-nanometer chips for clients will kick off by year-end, beating Intel by almost a year in terms of high-performance silicon.

Chip maker Intel’s own ten-nanometer chips are due in second half of 2017. Read More


Apple boosting iPhone 7 component orders significantly ahead of the holiday quarter

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2016

Unfazed by analyst reports predicting lower iPhone 7 sales this year versus the iPhone 6s in 2015, Apple is now reportedly increasing part and component orders for the handset, touch panel makers told Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes. Component orders for the holiday quarter are said to be 20-30 percent higher, according to Taiwan-based touch panel makers TPK Holding and General Interface Solution. Read More


Pegatron CEO and Piper Jaffray slam analysts who predicted poor iPhone 7 sales

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 26, 2016

The CEO of Pegatron, a Taiwanese contract manufacturer that assembles Apple handsets along with Foxconn, told Nikkei Asian Review he remained “cautiously optimistic” about iPhone 7 sales.

His comment targets a recent analyst report from KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo predicting fewer iPhone 7 sales in 2016 than the iPhone 6s garnered in 2015. Analyst firm Piper Jaffray, too, downplayed Kuo’s negative report in an interview with AppleInsider, saying it’s seeing similarities to the monster iPhone 6 upgrade cycle. Read More


Foxconn obtains government permission to repair iPhones at its Shanxi, China subsidiary

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 26, 2016

iPhone manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known in the Western press as Foxconn, has obtained approval from the local government to repair iPhones at its subsidiary in Shanxi, China, according to a report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News newspaper cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. This marks a second Foxconn subsidiary that can now repair iPhones.

The business model helps Apple to “save 40 percent of its costs on its smartphone maintenance services,” added the paper. Read More


Apple has ramped up chip and component orders for Apple Watch Series 2

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 9, 2016

Apple appears confident that the new Apple Watch Series 2 will be twice as successful as the original model and has reportedly ramped up chip and component orders for the device, according to Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes that has solid sources in Asian supply chain. Read More


How it’s made: black iPhone 7

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 7, 2016

I’m sure you know that Apple’s new iPhone 7 series brings two new finishes to the mix, replacing the previous Space Gray colorway.

Both are black, but one gives you classic anodized matte appearance while the other results in a highly glossy look and feel. The matte one is called simply Black and the glossy is referred to as Jet Black.

Wondering how they’re made?

Good, because Apple’s now shared a video in which it shows off a brand new manufacturing process it had to develop in order to create these new dark looks. Read More


Apple increases iPhone 7 production orders ahead of Wednesday’s event

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 5, 2016

With just two days left until Apple’s big reveal, the Cupertino firm is said to have increased production orders for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. According to supply chain sources that spoke with Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, Apple has boosted its original prediction by ten percent for parts and components needed for production of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which are scheduled to be released on Wednesday, September 7. Read More


Foxconn giving bonuses to assembly line workers ahead of iPhone 7 introduction

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 5, 2016

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn is giving bonuses to employees in an effort to maintain workforce ahead of the iPhone 7 introduction, trade publication DigiTimes quoted Taiwanese media as saying this morning. The contract manufacturer has reportedly been “encouraging internal recommendations” by treating each employee who recommends qualified workers to a cash bonus of up to CNY1,400, or about $209. Read More


TSMC to build Apple’s in-house designed AMOLED driver chips for 10th Anniversary iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 17, 2016

TSMC is believed to have secured orders for an Apple-designed ‘A11’ system-on-a-chip expected to power so-called Tenth Anniversary iPhone and new iPads in 2017, trade publication DigiTimes reports. The chip should be fabricated on TSMC’s ten-nanometer process technology and use its backend integrated fan-out (InFO) wafer-level packaging technology. Additionally, TSMC should build Apple-designed circuitry to drive 2017 iPhone’s AMOLED panel. Read More


Foxconn reportedly developing OLED displays and glass casings for 10th Anniversary iPhone in 2017

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 9, 2016

The rumor-mill has been adamant that a 2017 iPhone model—dubbed by the press a Tenth Anniversary iPhone because the original iPhone was announced and released in 2007—will adopt power-saving organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology and feature an all-new industrial design.

Japanese outlet Nikkei is now reporting that iPhone contract manufacturer Foxconn is developing both OLED displays (Foxconn bought Sharp earlier this year) and glass casings to secure orders for the Tenth Anniversary iPhone in 2017. Read More


Pegatron, another iPhone manufacturer, cuts back on hiring due to assembly line automation

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2016

Taiwan-based Pegatron Corporation, which has long been Apple’s secondary product manufacturer after Foxconn, has begun automating production lines where gadgets for other companies are being assembled. As a result of increased automation at the Shanghai plant, the company cut back on new hires, said its chairman TH Tung according to Chinese media quoted Thursday by DigiTimes. Read More


TSMC reportedly wins exclusive contract to build A11 chips for 2017 iPhones and iPads

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 19, 2016

Citing a story in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News newspaper, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported yesterday that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will be the sole supplier of an Apple-designed ‘A11’ chip, which should power 2017 iPhone and iPad models.

In other words, Samsung could be on the outs for the next two generations of iPhone processors as both this year’s A10 and next year’s A11 are now said to be exclusively manufactured by TSMC. The A11 chip will be built on the foundry’s cutting-edge ten-nanometer FinFET process. Read More


Samsung could build 240M AMOLEDs for future iPhones in the next 3 years

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2016

LG Display, Japan Display, AU Optronics, Samsung Display and Foxconn-owned Sharp are all said to share production of AMOLED panels for future iPhones, with Samsung alone providing an estimated 240 million AMOLED units in the next three years beginning in 2017, DigiTimes Research predicted yesterday.

Samsung is the world’s top producer of AMOLED panels. When deployed to the iPhone, this technology will result in crisper colors, deeper blacks, increased brightness, high visibility under direct sunlight and reduced power consumption. Read More


iPhone 7 ‘A10’ chip orders to help grow TSMC’s quarterly revenue by 20 percent

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2016

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s top semiconductor foundry which Apple has commissioned to build ‘A10’ processors for the next iPhone alongside Samsung, is expected to grow its revenue substantially in the third quarter of this year thanks to these orders.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency, quoted by trade publication DigiTimes, said this morning that TSMC is reportedly forecast to grow revenues almost twenty percent sequentially in its third quarter “as shipments for Apple’s A10 processors will kick off soon”. Read More


Apple supplier to build nanowire-based flexible toucscreens, likely for future iOS devices

By Christian Zibreg on May 30, 2016

Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes is reporting that TPK Holding is gearing up to product nanowire-based flexible touchscreens. TPK is on Apple’s supplier list so there’s a high likelihood that future iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices could switch to these flexible screens based on nano silver ink. Originally developed by 3M, silver nanowire films are flexible and transparent to the eye, making them feasible for wearable devices particular. Read More


iPhone chip maker TSMC to spend a massive $2.2 billion on R&D this year

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2016

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), the world’s largest independent chip foundry, has set aside a research and development budget for this year of a record-setting $2.2 billion in order to ensure its fabrication process technology stays ahead of competition, said a report this morning in Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes. In 2015, the firm spent just $1.067 billion on R&D. Read More


iPhone manufacturer Foxconn replaces 60,000 factory workers with robots

By Christian Zibreg on May 25, 2016

Robots are taking over iPhone manufacturer Foxconn: the world’s biggest contract fabricator has successfully replaced as many as 60,000 factory workers with sophisticated machines that use artificial intelligence to perform elaborate assembly work more efficiently than humans do, a government official told the South China Morning Post. Read More


Production machinery orders spiking ahead of iPhone’s switch to OLED screens

By Christian Zibreg on May 23, 2016

Many in the rumor-mill agree that Apple is planning to build an iPhone around the brighter, more power efficient AMOLED screen tech. New clues of 2017 bringing a major change to the iPhone’s display technology appeared with news this morning that the world’s top maker of display-making equipment, Applied Materials, reported an almost fourfold leap in orders for OLED production machinery. Read More


Apple asks suppliers to prepare for much higher-than-expected iPhone 7 production

By Christian Zibreg on May 23, 2016

Peak iPhone? If the latest supply chain report is to be trusted, the Cupertino firm doesn’t envision iPhone sales tapering off anytime soon, at least not this year. Barron’s said Monday, citing a report in the Taiwanese publication Economic Daily Times, that Apple has now asked its contract manufacturers and Asian suppliers to prepare for a much higher-than-expected iPhone 7 production volume in 2016.

Instead of ordering about 65 million handsets, which would have been in line with what Wall Street had been predicting, Apple needs between 72-78 million units of the new iPhone produced this year. Read More

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