Samsung seeks arbitration against Sharp and other LCD panel makers over supply halt

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 20, 2017

Samsung Electronics has filed a request for international arbitration against Sharp and two other LCD panel makers over supply panel halt, The Korea Herald reported Friday.

Owned by iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, Sharp said recently it would stop supplying LCDs to Samsung.

The Galaxy maker is now seeking $492 million in compensation from Sharp and other vendors, said industry sources. Samsung reportedly filed its request with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Read More

 

iPhone processor supplier TSMC hints it might build chips in America

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2017

As we reported this morning, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and its Japanese subsidiary Sharp are considering setting up an $8 billion LCD panel production plant in the United States. According to another report, semiconductor maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) has also expressed interest in taking advantage of business-friendly incentives proposed by incoming U.S. President Trump.

As a reminder, TSMC currently churns out Apple-designed silicon for latest iOS devices and is also said to have landed a lucrative contract to build next-generation A11 chips for future Phones and iPads. Read More

 

Apple suppliers Foxconn and Sharp could build $8 billion LCD plant in USA

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2017

Apple’s key suppliers—iPhone assembler Foxconn and its Japanese subsidiary Sharp—say that rumored plans calling for establishing an LCD manufacturing plant in the United States are “still on the table”. Company officials made that comment in response to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s “Make in America” call, Japanese outlet Nikkei reported Friday.

An unnamed Sharp executive told Nikkei that such a decision must be made “carefully”. Read More

 

Apple’s failed sapphire plant will now build server cabinets for its global data centers

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 10, 2017

Apple’s failed sapphire crystal manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona will be repurposed to produce server assembly cabinets for the Cupertino firm’s global data centers, according to a notification published by the Federal Register and cited yesterday by Business Insider.

Apple already has authority to produce certain components for consumer electronics in a special zone that exempts it from customs duty payments, but now it’s looking for approval from the Foreign-Trade Zones Board to produce “finished products and foreign status materials and components” in the Mesa factory. Read More

 

Apple to adopt forging process for iPhone 8 stainless steel frame

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 10, 2017

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that iPhone 8 will be switching to an all-glass design akin to iPhone 4 with a stainless steel metal frame rather than aluminum. Today, trade publication DigiTimes shed more light on the matter.

Quoting supply chain sources, the report states that Apple will adopt a stainless steel forging process for the new chassis frame instead of the traditional CNC machining process although the metal frame will need to be further refined by CNC machining. Read More

 

Sharp setting up OLED production line at Foxconn’s iPhone manufacturing plant

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 9, 2017

Apple’s contract manufacturer Foxconn is taking advantage of its acquisition of Sharp as the Japanese giant plans to set up an OLED production line in Zhengzhou, a city of six million people in an impoverished region of northern China, according to a report by Japan-based Nikkei that was cited Monday by trade publication DigiTimes. Read More

 

2017 iPhone 7 production cut by 10 percent

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 30, 2016

Several analysts interviewed recently by The Wall Street Journal opined that iPhone 7’s supposed lack of compelling features probably convinced many owners of the exploding Note 7 to opt for another high-end Galaxy handset, and not Apple’s flagship phone.

Their remarks were corroborated today by supplier data collected by Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asian Review, which claims Apple is planning to cut iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus orders by ten percent starting in the first quarter of 2017 after they “sold more sluggishly than expected”. Read More

 

Foxconn has 10 fully automated production lines

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 30, 2016

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn continues to replace factory workers with industrial robots, called Foxbots. These machines take advantage of artificial intelligence to perform elaborate assembly work more efficiently than humans can. As of May 2016, Foxbots had replaced as many as 60,000 factory workers and now a new report from DigiTimes details progress the contract manufacturer has since made in terms of boosting automated production across its facilities in China. Read More

 

Apple has reportedly commissioned three different manufacturers to build iPhone 8

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 30, 2016

Hedging its bets, Apple has apparently commissioned a third contract manufacturer to build iPhone 8 alongside established suppliers and longtime partners Foxconn and Pegatron. According to a Chinese-language report in the Economic Daily News newspaper, quoted by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, Apple supplier Wistron will get to build some of the future iPhone units. Read More

 

AirPods manufacturer Inventec is expanding capacity to meet strong demand

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 30, 2016

According to a brief report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily Times newspaper that was quoted Friday by DigiTimes, strong sales of the W1-enhanced AirPods and robust demand for Apple’s earphones during the year-end holidays have prompted supplier Inventec to increase production capacity. While Inventec declined to comment on its orders, it’s reportedly begun expanding capacity at its Shanghai plants, which are currently working overtime to deliver orders. Read More

 

NYT details Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility that manufactures iPhones on a massive scale

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2016

Most of the iPhone models Apple develops, markets and sells are being assembled by Foxconn, the world’s leading contract manufacturer. In a new investigative piece, The New York Times newspaper delves into the inner workings of Foxconn’s iPhone manufacturing plant in Zhengzhou, a city of six million people in an impoverished region of China.

Fun fact: the world’s biggest iPhone factory, referred to as “iPhone City” by the locals, is capable of churning out half a million iPhones per day at peak. Read More

 

Sharp working to secure iPhone camera lens orders from Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2016

According to Japanese outlet Nikkei, cited by DigiTimes, Sharp is hoping to secure some camera lens orders from Apple for future iPhones. To boost its chances of cutting a lucrative deal with Apple, Sharp is now speculated to increase its investment in Japan-based lens module maker Kantatsu, in which it currently holds a 44 percent stake.

Sharp would need to compete with Taiwan-based Largan Precision, which currently supplies iPhone camera lens modules in volume. Sharp is owned by Foxconn, the world’s top contract manufacturer that assembles iPhones. Read More

 

Samsung rumored to be lone supplier of AMOLED panels for 5.8-inch iPhone 8

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2016

Barclays Research analysts think Apple might offer iPhone 8 in two screen sizes, one measuring five inches diagonally and the other 5.8 inches. DigiTimes claimed in March that Apple had picked Samsung Display as the main supplier of 5.8-inch AMOLEDs.

In a follow-up report Thursday, DigiTimes reiterated that Samsung Display will be Apple’s exclusive supplier of 5.8-inch AMOLED display panels for iPhone 8. Read More

 

Many Apple supply chain vendors won’t set up shop in U.S. even if Foxconn does

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 28, 2016

After the United States President-elect Donald Trump promised tax incentives to Apple to build “Made in USA” iPhones, Japanese outlet Nikkei reported that Tim Cook & Co. already asked back in June its contract manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron to look into assembling iPhones domestically. Foxconn reportedly complied, but don’t expect other Chinese vendors in Apple’s vast supply chain to follow suit.

As reported Wednesday by Chinese-language outlet qq and cited by trade publication DigiTimes, most Chinese supply chain makers will not follow Foxconn even if Apple decides to shift production to U.S. Read More

 

Poor yields for TSMC’s 10-nanometer process could disrupt next iPad launch

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 23, 2016

Trade publication DigiTimes said Friday that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has received orders to kick off volume production of Apple-designed A10X Fusion chips for the next iPad. However, unsatisfactory yields for TSMC’s 10-nanometer process technology could disrupt planned March 2017 launch of the next iPad series.

The proportion of semiconductor devices on the silicon wafer found to perform properly is referred to as the yield. Yield rates in semiconductor fabrication can be as low as thirty percent due to process variation and many other reasons. Read More

 

Apple’s search for top OLED screens hinges on a small subsidiary of imaging giant Canon

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 22, 2016

Yesterday’s report on Bloomberg detailed Apple’s search for the best organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) panels on the market. The company’s quest to deploy advanced OLED screens on iPhone 8 reportedly hinges on a single supplier in the Japanese countryside, called Canon Tokki, which has been making OLED machines since 1993.

A small branch of Japanese imaging corporation Canon, Tokki has “a near monopoly” on the machines that suppliers use to churn out OLEDs in volume. Although it employs just 343 engineers, Tokki has 20 years of experience developing and perfecting OLED manufacturing equipment. Read More

 

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn rumored to spend $7 billion on U.S. expansion

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2016

Taiwan-based iPhone manufacturer Foxconn is said to be considering pouring as much as $7 billion into a massive expansion of its operations in the United States, looking to create 50,000 jobs within the country in the next four years, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Foxconn is reportedly looking to build a collection of U.S.-based assembly plants.

The company has confirmed being in preliminary discussions regarding expansion of its U.S. operations. CNBC earlier posted a slide which pegs the investment at $7 billion. Read More

 

President-elect Trump promises tax incentives for Apple to build “Made in USA” iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 23, 2016

Apple reportedly asked contract manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron to look into assembling iPhones in the United States and now we learn that Tim Cook phoned President-elect Donald Trump following his victory to talk about U.S. manufacturing.

In an interview with The New York Times, Trump reveals he’s promised tax incentives to Apple to build its products domestically rather than outsource component production and assembly work to Taiwanese and Chinese suppliers and contract manufacturers. Read More

 

iPhone 8 to hit mass production late in the third quarter of 2017

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 23, 2016

In another note issued to clients this morning, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says he expects a next-generation iPhone to hit mass production late in the third quarter of next year. The widely rumored premium OLED iPhone model should account for a little more than half of new model shipments, or about fifty to 55 percent.

A 4.7-inch variant of next year’s iPhone is projected to account for 30 to 35 percent of orders while its 5.5-inch brethren is expected to account for ten to fifteen percent of iPhone shipments next year. Read More

 

TSMC posts record profits as iPhone 7 demand fuels orders for A10 Fusion chip

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2016

Chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) today posted record profits and its shares have climbed to their highest level on record as strong demand for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus fuels orders for the handsets’ in-housed designed A10 Fusion processor. That TSMC is the sole supplier of the A10 has no doubt helped it capture record profits amid a global slowdown in the smartphone market. Read More

 
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