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 Cody Lee on May 8, 2013
Earlier this year, it was believed that the iPhone 5S would go into production in March ahead of an early summer release. But after rumors of manufacturing issues began to circulate, the handset’s expected arrival time was pushed back to the fall.
And a new report out of the east this morning corroborates that theory. A Japanese newspaper is reporting that Sharp, one of Apple’s primary panel partners, is gearing up to begin mass production of LCD displays for the iPhone 5S next month… 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 Cody Lee on Apr 22, 2013
When Apple introduced the iPhone 5 last fall, it made sure to mention its complex manufacturing process. “Never before have we built a product with this extraordinary level of fit and finish,” Jony Ive said during a video on the handset.
The extra effort has obviously paid off, as the iPhone 5 has been very popular with consumers. But it’s also causing problems for Foxconn, Apple’s manufacturing partner, who continues to struggle with the device’s intricate production methods… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 11, 2013
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who actually has a pretty good track record in predicting Apple’s product plans, has some bad news for Apple fans. In a note issued to clients Thursday, he basically wrote that Apple’s next batch of iDevice upgrades may hit the market later than originally expected due to a number of “technical challenges” related to the inclusion of fingerprint sensor beneath the Home button.
The rumored budget iPhone may be delayed because its slimmer-than-usual polycarbonate casing is proving harder nut to crack, while the second-generation iPad mini continues to face challenges with its high-resolution Retina panels. Jump past the fold for the full disclosure… Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 9, 2013
As we move into mid-April, the odds of seeing Apple unveil a new product this spring continue to dwindle. It feels like we’re getting close enough to its June developer conference, that any major announcements could wait until then.
There is, however, still a rumor floating around that Apple has plans for an iPad event later this month. But according to a new supply chain report, that’s not going to happen, as 5th gen iPads won’t go into production until the summer… Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 2, 2013
We’ve heard an unusual amount of chatter regarding the next generation iPhone over the past few months. Especially since the iPhone 5 just launched 6 months ago. But folks seem pretty certain that Apple’s next smartphone isn’t too far off.
And a new report out this morning echoes that sentiment. Citing “people familiar with the device’s production,” The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is ramping up production of its new iPhone this quarter ahead of a likely summer launch… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 28, 2013
There’s a new report out of China this morning, claiming that Apple is cutting shipments of its iPad mini next month. The cut is said to be a 20% reduction, with steeper cuts likely happening in the latter part of the second quarter.
While the folks on Wall Street will probably try to spin this into an ‘Apple is doomed’ story, despite the fact that there’s evidence that the mini is selling very well, the consensus seems to be that it’s preparing to launch a new model… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 21, 2013
Now that Samsung has unveiled its flagship handset for 2013, all eyes are on Apple as the tech world waits to see what it has in store for its next-generation iPhone. The word is it’s going to be an ‘S’ model, meaning it’ll likely only feature internal changes.
And a new report out of China this morning reaffirms that theory, claiming that components for the iPhone 5S will start shipping in Q3 of this year. It’s believed that the handset will offer an upgraded camera and processor, among other improvements… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 15, 2013
Apple shipped five million Apple TVs last year for a nearly $500 million in additional revenue. That’s a very successful hobby and while talk of Tim Cook & Co. building a standalone HD TV set remains just that – rumor mongering – Apple has quietly retooled the $99 set-top box, with most of the under-the-hood tweaks aimed at optimizing production costs.
AnandTech took a peek inside the gadget and found some minor changes. The publication found a significant reduction in the new model’s power consumption, directly related to the optimized A5 chip, leading AnandTech to speculate that perhaps Apple could use this chip for another device, “perhaps one powered by a battery” (hint: iWatch)… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 6, 2013
Apple is Samsung’s largest buyer of components, accounting for 8.8 percent of Samsung’s revenue. The two firms are also bitter enemies when it comes to litigation as they remain entangled in a complicated web of more than 20 lawsuits spanning continents.
As if that weren’t bad enough, now comes the definite confirmation that the Galaxy maker pledged to spend $112 million to buy a three percent stake in Sharp, which has been struggling to stay afloat amid losses and low manufacturing yields.
The investment, a strategic move on the part of the South Korean conglomerate, is meant to give Samsung a steady supply of LCD panels from diversified sources. Apple, too, was rumored to have spent to the tune of $2 billion to prevent Sharp from going under.
Additionally, the iPhone maker is thought to have tried to save the Japanese giant through its preferred contract manufacturer Foxconn, which last year wanted to buy eleven percent of Sharp. The deadline for that transaction closes later this month, but the deal may have already hit the wall after Sharp’s share price tumbled… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 6, 2013
About this time last year, Apple was dealing with a wealth of bad press over the working conditions at its Asian suppliers. The New York Times painted a particularly bleak picture of the situation, with underpaid, underaged, overworked employees.
Since then, the company has really stepped up its game in supplier responsibility. The companies who used underage workers have been cut, workers have received pay raises, and as of January, 99% of them came in under the 60-hour work week limit… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 5, 2013
Talk of Apple’s next-generation iPhone has really begun to pick up over the past few days, with two reports coming within the last 24 hours claiming that the company is set to roll out its new handset this summer.
And that continues to be the consensus, as another report has surfaced this evening corroborating the theory. Japanese blog Macotakara is claiming Foxconn has begun ramping up production of the iPhone 5S… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 26, 2013
A new report out of China claims that LG Display saw shipments of its 9.7-inch iPad display panels drop 90% in January, from 6 million units in December all the way down to 600,000. The drop-off is said to be a main factor in LG’s poor performance in the month.
The reason for the order cuts? Well according to supply chain sources, it’s a combination of a few things including the fact that January was the first post-holiday month, the growing popularity of the iPad mini, and a general shift in the market to lower-priced tablets… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 16, 2013
When you think about Apple’s supply chain, the first—and only, for some—place that comes to mind is China. Images start propagating in the mind of oft-reported impoverished plants with thousands of factory workers building iPhones and iPads. But there’s much more to it.
The truth is, Apple’s supply chain is far more expansive, reaching all the way around the globe. As this new interactive map shows, the company receives components from suppliers, and production support, from the United States, Australia, Brazil and several other places… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 25, 2013
Back in November, some folks started seeing “Assembled in the USA” etched into the backs of their iMacs. This obviously led to the conclusion that Apple has been quietly moving some of its assembly operations from China to the United States.
Today we learn where, at least some of, those Macs are being put together. In a recent update to its Supplier Responsibility page, Apple has named Quanta Computer Inc., in its Fremont, California plant, as a final assembler for its Mac computers… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 25, 2013
Apple released its latest Supplier Responsibility report late last night, detailing 339 audits focused on the plants and suppliers that help make its hardware. These were internal audits, which are separate from those performed by the Fair Labor Association.
While Apple was quick to point out supplier compliance, an impressive 92%, it also mentioned that it has severed its relationship with a China-based third-party labor supplier after discovering a conspiracy to employ dozens of underage workers… Read More