Apple’s Unibody enclosure manufacturer apparently commissioned to build iPhone 6 metal casings

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 23, 2014

The metal casing of the next iPhone will be made by Catcher Technology, according to Far East media outlets who on Wednesday relayed analyst notes by investment firms Barclays and Morgan Stanley.

Apparently, Catcher has secured a nice chunk of metal casing orders for the upcoming iPhone 6.

If true, this suggests that the iPhone maker is currenly in the process of cherry-picking suppliers that will provide components for the handset.

A report recently claimed that mass production of a 4.7-inch iPhone model is scheduled to commence in July, ahead of a rumored September introduction… Read More

 

Samsung-GlobalFoundries deal gives Apple’s chip production greater flexibility

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 18, 2014

As Apple continues to move anything it can away from Samsung as a result of heightened competition, fierce rivalry and an ugly patent spat between the two technology giants, Samsung seems to be doing the opposite, hoping to to please Apple’s enormous appetite for mobile processors powering iOS devices.

More than a thousand in-house Apple engineers design chips like the A7 processor and the M7 motion coprocessor. The former, the mobile industry’s first 64-bit processor, serves as the engine that drives the latest crop of iOS devices like the iPad Air, the iPad mini with Retina display and the iPhone 5s.

To manufacture these things in volume according to its blueprints, Apple relies on some of the biggest of the chip-making services known as foundries because it doesn’t have or operate its own semiconductor plant, an investment upward of $10 billion.

Samsung semiconductor arm has thus far churned out all Apple-designed mobile chips. Moreover, the company remains adamant to do so in the future despite its straining relationship with Apple and persistent talk of the iPhone maker throwing itself into the arms of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry.

Samsung and GlobalFoundries, the Santa Clara, California headquartered chip foundry, yesterday signed a global partnership to standardize mobile chip production around the same 14nm FinFET process technology. The deal gives Apple the flexibility to build its A-series processors at both foundries, which was previously impossible due to the foundries’ incompatible production processes… Read More

 

Production of 4.7-inch iPhone 6 screens to start in May, 5.5-inch model delayed

By Cody Lee on Mar 31, 2014

Production on screens for the 4.7-inch version of Apple’s next iPhone could start as early as May, according to a new report from Reuters. Citing supply chain sources, the outlet says that Japan Display and other manufacturers are readying their facilities and could begin churning out panels next month.

Unfortunately, for those looking forward to the oft-rumored 5.5-inch model, it sounds like production issues have forced Apple to delay the handset. Reuters says that manufacturers are running into difficulties with in-cell technology, and the larger displays may not go into production for several months… Read More

 

Alleged iPhone 6 production images show protruding camera lens, rounded LED flash

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 31, 2014

Is Apple’s next iPhone really going to have an unsightly camera bulge on the back akin to Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and many other Android handsets out there? You bet it will, if questionable images said to depict an iPhone 6 in trial production are anything to go by.

While there’s no way of determining the veracity of these photographs, we’ve managed to spot a few discrepancies which cast doubt on their legitimacy, so you too are advised to apply some skepticism… Read More

 

Apple apparently expanding operations at Arizona plant to increase sapphire output

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 28, 2014

As rumored yesterday, looks like Apple is indeed planning an expansion at its Mesa, Arizona plant to boost sapphire output ahead of the next-generation iPhone production. According to a new report Friday morning, the company is looking to double the number of high-tech furnaces that make sapphire boules in bulk.

Whereas previous records claimed Apple and its partner GT Advanced would use about 950 furnaces at the site, sources are now saying the firms want to equip the facility with some 1,700 furnaces. That could mean bolstering of yields to increase the plant’s output beyond an estimated 100 to 200 million sapphire displays per year.

Apple has poured a cool $576 million into the Mesa facility to secure an exclusive, multi-year output of sapphire products. It’s widely believed Tim Cook & Co. have found a way of strengthening the next iPhone’s screen by applying a thin layer of sapphire material on top of the handset’s cover glass… Read More

 

Strong demand for Apple products boosts Foxconn and Pegatron’s earnings

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 28, 2014

Demand for Apple’s latest products is as strong as ever, it would seem. After reporting sales of 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads during the lucrative holiday quarter, as a result Apple’s key contract manufacturers – Foxconn and Pegatron – are seeing a nice rise in their earnings, too.

Pegatron, the primary manufacturer of the iPhone 5c and iPad mini, last week reported a cool 22 percent annual rise in earnings attributed to strong demand for mobile products. Apple is responsible for as much as 40 percent of Pegatron’s business so the manufacturer’s fortunes are closely tied to the iPhone maker’s.

As for Foxconn, they reported a 13 percent rise in net profit today. Foxconn is the world’s top contract manufacturer and Apple’s lead supplier… Read More

 

New photos surface of Apple’s Arizona sapphire plant, possible expansion rumored

By Cody Lee on Mar 27, 2014

According to a new report from AppleInsider, contractors are working around the clock and on weekends to finish Apple’s new sapphire plant in Mesa, Arizona. The site says that work on the facility is progressing, and that the company may be expanding the project with an additional building.

Word that the iPad-maker was teaming up with GT Advanced to build a sapphire production plant first came in November of last year, and it has since remained a popular topic. The Cupertino firm is believed to be using the plant to manufacture components for yet-to-be announced products… Read More

 

Rumor: Pegatron to start assembly of large-screened iPhones and iPad Airs this Fall

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2014

The Commercial Times newspaper reported last week that Apple’s contract manufacturer Pegatron is gearing up to kick off mass production of the iPhone 6 in the second quarter of this year at its China-based plant in Kunshan.

On Monday, The China Times newspaper claimed new information saying that Pegatron has landed orders for both large-sized iPhones and iPad Airs.

However, contrary to The Commercial Times story, Pegatron is actually said to start the operation of the Kunshan plant, which is located in China’s Jiangsu Province, in the third quarter of this year.

That facility will be solely dedicated to churning out Apple products. For reference, Pegatron is the primary manufacturer of the iPhone 5c and iPad mini… Read More

 

Apple apparently moving to fully automated iPhone battery production

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2014

DigiTimes, the hit and miss Taiwanese trade publication, is reporting this morning that Apple is moving from labor-intensive iPhone battery production to fully automated production lines in 2014. The move is said to stem from Apple’s desire to reduce its manpower demand and is expected to prompt other consumer electronics vendors to follow suit, as per supply chain chatter… Read More

 

Pegatron reportedly gearing up to start iPhone 6 production in Q2

By Cody Lee on Mar 18, 2014

According to a new report from the Commercial Times, Apple supplier Pegatron is gearing up to start mass-producing the iPhone 6. The production is expected to kick off in the second quarter of this year at its Kunshan, China-based plant.

The newspaper says that the manufacturer has already begun recruiting workers in China, and has even opened up a new factory space, in an effort to prepare for large orders from Apple. The new handset is expected to debut later this year… Read More

 

Full production of GT-made sapphire starting in H2 2014, in time for Fall launch of iPhone 6

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 25, 2014

GT Advanced Technologies, a U.S.-based company Apple’s partnered with on mass-scale sapphire manufacture in its new Mesa, Arizona facility, today released earnings for the 2013 holiday quarter and said that 2014 will be a “transformational” year for the company. Plans to supply sapphire glass to Apple are “progressing well” as GT expects a very profitable second half of 2014.

Its projected revenues also indicate a Fall launch for the next iPhone model (or models, if you believe the rumors). According to GT, the company has “started to build out the facility in Arizona and staff the operation” during the previous quarter… Read More

 

Apple reportedly secured three year’s worth of sapphire glass

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 19, 2014

With a larger of the two jumbo-sized iPhones rumored to arrive later this year rocking a massive 5.5-inch screen, Apple’s adamant to buy huge amounts of thin sapphire laminates, likely to strengthen the handset’s cover glass. We know Apple invested nearly $500 million in high-tech furnaces and equipment for its Arizona sapphire plant.

The firm is operating the facility in partnership with GT Advanced.

We’ve also known that Apple and GT have signed an exclusive multi-year agreement and now Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth has gone on the record claiming that Apple has acquired three-year supply of sapphire screens… Read More

 

Rumor: Samsung not churning out Apple’s A8 chip for the next iPhone and iPad due to low yields

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2014

Apple’s upcoming A8 mobile processor is of course expected to power the next wave of iPhone and iPad devices, but the advanced chip apparently won’t be manufactured by Samsung, which fabbed all of A-series processors since the iPhone 4′s 2010 A4 chip.

According to a new report out of China, Samsung is experiencing yield issues and in turn has dropped out of Apple’s A8 chip production… Read More

 

Flextronics joins Apple’s supply chain as assemblers of ‘Made in USA’ Macs

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 14, 2014

As part of the 2014 Supplier Responsibility Report that was published yesterday, Apple has refreshed its Supplier Responsibility website with a newly updated list of component suppliers and major manufacturing locations where Apple’s gadgets are being assembled.

Bloomberg analyzed Apple’s public documents and discovered that Flextronics International Ltd. has now joined the company’s supply chain as assemblers of ‘Made in USA’ Macs. Although Flextronics now gets to assemble Macs in Apple’s $100 million Austin, Texas plant, Foxconn remains the largest manufacturer of Apple products, with seven assembly locations in China and Brazil… Read More

 

Google to automate production lines at iPhone manufacturer Foxconn with advanced robots

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 11, 2014

Future iPhones could be built by Google robots as The Wall Street Journal reports that the search monster is working with Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer, Foxconn of Taiwan, on automating production lines.

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou reportedly met with Google’s Andy Rubin in Taipei to talk new robotic technologies meant to “speed up robot deployment” at Foxconn plants. The machines would run Google’s upcoming robotic operating system for manufacturers. The two men have reportedly been collaborating since last year to carry out Google’s vision for robotics.

Eagled-eyed readers will remember that Google’s boss Larry Page in March 2013 put former Android head Andy Rubin in charge of a moonshot project to create a new generation of robots… Read More

 

How Arizona wooed Apple to build sapphire plant

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 10, 2014

Apple last week began moving sophisticated equipment and furnaces into its new manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona. The plant, operated by a company called GT Advanced, should produce two times the current worldwide capacity of sapphire, enough for an annual production of about 100 million iPhones with a sapphire-protected cover glass.

But how exactly did State of Arizona attract Apple to build the plant in Mesa and create more than 700 high-quality jobs in the first year, and 4,000 more if successful? With the right package of incentives, perks and tax breaks, that’s how… Read More

 

Apple’s Arizona sapphire plant said to be gearing up to build 5″ iPhone displays

By Cody Lee on Feb 6, 2014

We’ve known since last fall that Apple was teaming up with GT Advanced to open up a sapphire crystal manufacturing plant in Mesa, Arizona. But up until now, it’s been unclear exactly what components it would be making. Camera lenses? Touch ID covers?

Well according to a new report from 9to5Mac, the plant is gearing up to build iPhone displays. Citing import/export and other records, the site says that the Mesa plant has just procured enough equipment to make over 100M ~5-inch iPhone displays this year… Read More

 

Apple pushing to open Arizona sapphire plant to start producing ‘critical’ component

By Cody Lee on Jan 29, 2014

By now, most of you have probably heard that Apple has teamed up with manufacturing partner GT Advanced Technologies to open up a plant in Mesa, Arizona for producing sapphire. The plant is nearly ready to open, and Apple has already begun hiring engineers.

Up until now, though, little has been known about what kind of parts this sapphire factory would be producing. But some new documents just surfaced that may help fill in the blanks. Apparently, Apple is going to use the plant to produce a new ‘critical’ component… Read More

 

Foxconn looking to open large display manufacturing plant in US

By Cody Lee on Jan 27, 2014

Foxconn is looking to beef up its presence in the US according to some recent comments made by Terry Gou. During an event marking the company’s 40th anniversary, the chairman said they were exploring the possibly of opening a large display plant in the country.

The manufacturing giant already has a handful of factories scattered across the US, but this particular facility would be capable of producing TV-sized display panels over 60-inches. And the move could save Foxconn’s American clients millions of dollars in shipping costs… Read More

 

iPhone with sapphire glass display allegedly in trial production

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 24, 2014

According to a new rumor by Taiwan’s Apple Daily, Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer, Foxconn, has ostensibly commenced trial production of the next iPhone, using sapphire as a display glass cover. The initial production run has been pegged at 100 units.

This doesn’t mean that the next iPhone will in fact ditch Corning’s Gorilla Glass for sapphire-strengthened display, mind you. Apple currently uses sapphire to protect iOS device cameras and Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s from scratches and dings.

Earlier today, a video excerpt from ABC’s upcoming interview with CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives brought the official confirmation of Apple’s plan to exclusively produce sapphire crystal glass components at its new facility in Mesa, ArizonaRead More

 
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