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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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, Arizona… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 24, 2014
As we told you yesterday, ABC News will broadcast a rare interview with CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives this evening. And as Apple celebrates the Mac’s 30th anniversary with a nice interactive timeline and video on Apple.com, the ABC interview is expected to offer some insight into the company’s culture of secrecy, the Mac’s importance to Apple’s bottom line and more.
An excerpt from the interview was played Friday morning on Good Morning America, offering a taste of the full interview scheduled to be aired later today at 6:30PM EST on World News with Diane Sawyer… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 23, 2014
According to a new report, Taiwan police officers have arrested around a dozen managers at Foxconn on suspicion of soliciting several million in bribes from iPhone parts suppliers. Vendors reportedly had to pay 2.5% in kickbacks and other off-the-books fees to secure orders.
The group of arrested employees includes some pretty high-level Foxconn executives like Deng Zhixian, director general for Foxconn’s committee of surface mount technology, and retired senior vice president Liao Wancheng, who police think was the mastermind of the scheme… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 14, 2014
It was confirmed back in November that Apple has secured multi-year supply of sapphire cover glass by prepaying north of $500 million towards the purchase of sophisticated furnaces that will churn out the protective material on an industrial scale.
The material production would be handled by a company called GT Advanced at a plant in Mesa, Arizona that would create 2,000 U.S. jobs. The iPhone maker has now begun hiring engineers for the Mesa plant for the positions that specifically mention iPhone and iPod manufacturing… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 7, 2014
A new report is out this afternoon claiming that Apple is experiencing multiple problems with its long-rumored ‘iWatch’ project. The company is said to be troubled by challenges related to the device’s screen technology, battery life, and manufacturing.
The device, believed to be a smartwatch of sorts, is expected to be Apple’s first big entry into the budding wearables space. It’s said to feature a display of up to 2-inches, and run a version of iOS capable of communicating with both iPhones and iPads… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 27, 2013
It looks like Apple’s suppliers and manufacturers in Taiwan in China are finally catching up with demand. First we learned that Foxconn is finally ramping up iPhone 5s production, with handset ship times being lowered earlier this week to three to five days for online orders.
And now, despite the initial rumors of shortages concerning the new iPad mini with Retina display it would appear that production bottlenecks are easing quickly, with the Cupertino company reportedly having ordered a total of nearly four million Retina iPad minis in the month of November… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 27, 2013
Yesterday we reported that online iPhone 5s availability had improved, with shipping estimates lowered to 3-5 days. Now, this newfound inventory could be the result of greater production yields, lower demand, or both.
But according to The Wall Street Journal, it’s likely the former. The news outlet is reporting this morning that Foxconn has boosted production capacity for the iPhone 5s, at the expense of the 5c, at the request of Apple… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 26, 2013
The new Mac Pro, which Apple first introduced at WWDC, is capable of driving up to 3 4K displays simultaneously. This is something the company has mentioned several times, leading to speculation that it has a 4K-flavored display on the way.
Although such a product hasn’t materialized yet, some new evidence has surfaced this week that could indicate it’s still on the way. Apparently, Apple supplier AUO is currently making 27-inch and 33-inch 4K thunderbolt-compatible display panels… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2013
Quanta Computer, an Apple supplier mainly responsible for assembly work concerning computers like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, may have been tasked with building Apple’s two next big things, a rumored health/fitness wearable device and an assumed big screen iPad.
The company and its Fremont, California plant are listed on Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Page as a final assembler for Macs and now the notoriously hit-and-miss DigiTimes is reporting that Quanta has inked a deal to product the so-called iPad Maxi for the late-2014, in addition to iWatch production for the second half of next year… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 22, 2013
As part of its ongoing efforts to expand its North American operations, Foxconn is looking to invest over $40 million over the next two years building a high-tech manufacturing facility in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Bloomberg is reporting this week that the company, which counts Apple as its largest client, will spend $30 million on the new plant and $10 million in research and development at Carnegie Mellon University… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 20, 2013
Apple has long been known for its supply chain prowess, mostly thanks to one man: Tim Cook. Before taking over the CEO position in 2011, Cook was the company’s chief operating officer and oversaw a number of successful product rollouts that garnered impressive profits.
But according to a new report, the iPad-maker isn’t resting on its laurels. Apple is apparently adjusting its supply chain model from having OEMs being responsible for both component procurement and production, to purely production, as it moves to raise its product margins… Read More