Pegatron goes on a hiring spree ahead of next-generation iPhone production

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 6, 2015

With a little more than two months before its assumed September release, contract manufacturer Pegatron is reportedly in the process of hiring as many as 40,000 workers as it makes preparations to kick off assembly work on Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s refresh, according to a DigiTimes report this weekend.

Protek, a Pegatron subsidiary in eastern China, reportedly began recruiting workers at the end of June and will continue to do so until October, one month after the expected launch of the new iPhones.

Protek is planning to hire 40,000 workers in total, said the Taiwanese trade publication. Read More


Foxconn looking to open first iPhone manufacturing plant in India

By Cody Lee on Jun 11, 2015

Apple’s high profile manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology is in talks with government officials to build iPhones in India, reports Reuters. An Industries Minister told the publication that “Foxconn is sending a delegation of their officers to scout for locations in a month’s time.”

Altogether the Taiwanese-based tech giant, which is the world’s larger contract maker of electronics, is aiming to develop 10-12 facilities in India, including factories and data centers. No additional details regarding the plans were given, but Reuters says the goal is to be done by 2020. Read More


Apple Watch manufacturer reportedly solves production hiccups

By Christian Zibreg on May 15, 2015

Quanta Computer, which assembles the Apple Watch, has been plagued with poor yield rates resulting in capacity problems that have led to limited shipments of the device. As a result, Apple has been struggling to meet orders and has been unable to roll out the device to additional markets to this date.

But production woes are now a thing of the past as Quanta vice chairman CC Leung confirmed solving production bottlenecks, according to a report Friday by DigiTimes, a somewhat reliable Taiwanese trade publication. Read More


Apple to expand key Irish operation as demand for products grows

By Christian Zibreg on May 11, 2015

Apple is considering a major expansion of its key Irish operation just months after completing a massive €300 million (about $335 million) development in the country, according to Monday.

Already employing more than 4,000 people in Ireland and its Cork plant in Hollyhill, the latest expansion should deliver a multi-million euro boost to the move. Read More


WSJ: slow Apple Watch rollout due to faulty Taptic Engine

By Cody Lee on Apr 29, 2015

Faulty Taptic Engines may be behind the extremely limited availability of the Apple Watch, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the publication says that after mass production of the Engines began in February, quality testing found some of them to be unreliable.

The component, which Apple uses in its Watch to produce the sensation of being tapped on the wrist, is made by two suppliers: AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. and Nidec Corp. Apparently some of AAC’s Taptic Engines were found to break down overtime, so Apple has moved a majority of its production over to Nidec. Read More


Apple yet again rumored to switch to power-friendlier IGZO screens for next-gen iPads

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 6, 2015

Boy, is LG Display on a roll today. Not only has the company’s website inadvertently pre-announced a supposedly upcoming iMac refresh featuring an 8K resolution Retina screen, but a well-informed LG Display related official ostensibly said Apple is also “creating iPads with a 12-inch display,” based on a very power-efficient oxide LCD screen technology, Taiwanese publication ETNews reported Monday.

Oxide LCD, also known as IGZO, requires a fraction of power compared to LCD IPS screens on current iPads, while rendering more vibrant colors and deeper blacks with quick response times and high color saturation. Read More


Apple Watch manufacturer experiencing extremely low defect-free rate

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2015

Taiwan-based Quanta Computer, the principal Apple Watch manufacturer, is experiencing what could only be described as extremely low defect-free rate of less than thirty percent as it continues to struggle with low yield issues.

And in order to help solve purported manufacturing issues, Quanta has enlisted help of three-thousand workers from Foxconn to improve the yield rate, according to G for Games Thursday citing Taiwanese media. Read More


Claimed iPad Pro manufacturing mold shown in leaked photo

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 8, 2015

A photograph of a manufacturing mold for the rear shell of an ‘iPad Pro’ was posted Thursday to China’s Weibo microblogging service, indicating that Apple’s ostensibly larger iPad model could be entering mass production pretty soon.

As first reported by MacRumors, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the supposed mold is for an actual iPad Pro shell or for a dummy unit which was posted online back in May 2014. Read More


Wait, TSMC to remain Apple’s key supplier for upcoming A9 chip – not Samsung

By Jake Smith on Dec 30, 2014

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will remain the major supplier for Apple’s upcoming 14-nanometre A9 processor, reports Taipei Times, contrary to previous reports.  Read More


Tim Cook ‘deeply offended’ by BBC’s allegations of factory worker mistreatment

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 19, 2014

An undercover documentary released yesterday by the BBC about working conditions in Pegatron’s iPhone factories has reportedly sent CEO Tim Cook and the rest of Apple’s executive team through the roof, The Telegraph reported Friday.

BBC’s investigative report makes fresh allegations about continued poor working conditions at the iPhone manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Shanghai. The documentary’s found poor treatment of workers after Apple’s stated several times that it’s cleaned up its act.

The full video of the BBC documentary surfaced on YouTube this morning though it’s probably going to get taken down soon so we’ve embedded it for your viewing pleasure. Read More


Foxconn’s upcoming $2.6 billion plant rumored to produce iPhone sapphire screens

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 26, 2014

Its deal with GT Advanced Technology — which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to ramp up sapphire production in time for the iPhone 6 launch — has collapsed but Apple isn’t giving up on the precious gemstone entirely yet.

A report Wednesday by Focus Taiwan alleged that Foxconn’s upcoming $2.6 billion facility in central China will be churning out screens for Apple’s mobile devices that use synthetic sapphire crystals for increased durability and protection. Read More


Apple said to discontinue iPhone 5c in 2015

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 26, 2014

According to the latest supply chain chatter, Apple may discontinue its unapologetically plastic handset, the iPhone 5c, by the summer of next year.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Taiwan’s Industrial and Commercial Times said Wednesday that the Cupertino firm will be phasing out the iPhone 5c around mid-2015, ostensibly because the company is pleased with high demand for the latest 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 smartphones.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently made a similar suggestion, estimating Apple would wind down production of both the iPhone 5c and 4s in 2015 after promotional plans. Read More


Foxconn building $2.9 billion plant to churn out displays exclusively for Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

Foxconn, the world’s top contract manufacturer and Apple’s favorite gadget assembly shop, is planning on burning NT$80 billion, or approximately $2.6 billion, on a brand new manufacturing facility in Taiwan that will produce displays exclusively for Apple, Bloomberg reported Thursday morning.

The plant will employ more than two-thousand workers and is being built after “an urgent request for exclusive capacity” from Apple, indicating that the iPhone maker is anticipating growing demand for its devices in the coming years. Read More


Apple keeping Arizona plant despite GT Advanced bankruptcy

By Cody Lee on Nov 18, 2014

Apple plans to keep the sapphire production factory it built with GT Advanced in Mesa, Arizona, according to a report from Bloomberg. The outlet says the company has told officials that it’s committed to bringing jobs and manufacturing to the area, despite GT’s bankruptcy.

“They’ve indicated their commitment to us: They want to repurpose that building and use it again,” Mesa City Manager Christopher Brady told Bloomberg. “Apple is focused on preserving jobs and promised to “work with state and local officials as we consider our next steps.” Read More


DigiTimes: Apple getting ready to ramp up Apple Watch production

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2014

Apple’s suppliers are “gearing up” to ramp up Apple Watch production ahead of its early-2015 release, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes said Thursday. While not the most accurate of sources, DigiTimes usually gets supply chain rumors right.

Apple’s retail boss Angela Ahrendts recently told employees that the Apple Watch will be launching in Spring 2015. The device will start out at $349 for the entry-level model with aluminum chassis and plastic band.

The stainless steel model should be priced at $500, with an 18-karat gold variant commanding a price tag between $4,000 and $5,000, according to the rumor-mill. Read More


Manufacturing issues may push ‘iPad Pro’ back to Q2 2015

By Cody Lee on Nov 12, 2014

KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple’s rumored 12.9-inch tablet may get pushed back again. In a new note to investors tonight, the oft-accurate analyst said manufacturing issues may delay the so-called ‘iPad Pro,’ which was originally expected to debut this fall, until spring next year.

More specifically, Kuo says he believes Apple will use oxide LCD technology for the device’s high-res display, which will give it quick response times and high color saturation. And due to the time needed for component yield and assembly, the iPad Pro may not enter production until Q2 of 2015. Read More


iPad Air 2 costs roughly the same to build as its predecessor

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

Apple’s latest iPad Air 2 costs roughly the same as its predecessor, an analysis from the research firm IHS quoted Tuesday by Re/Code has determined. An entry-level Wi-Fi-only model with sixteen gigabytes of storage costs an estimated $275 in parts, excluding costs associated with sales, marketing, advertising, packaging, software licensees, research and development and so forth.

It’s interesting that Apple pays about $60 for NAND flash chips in the high-end 128GB model and only $9.20 on memory for the low-end 16 GB devices. At retail, the difference between the 128 and 16GB model is $300. “Apple reaps a pretty good profit for all that memory,” IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler observed. Read More


TSMC reportedly lands contract to build A8X processor for iPad Pro

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2014

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s leading independent semiconductor foundry, has landed a contract to fabricate Apple’s upcoming A8X mobile processor, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Wednesday.

The chip, which leaked on claimed photographs earlier this week, is said to feature faster graphics.

In addition to an improved GPU, it reportedly incorporates twice as much RAM as its A8 counterpart, which powers the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As such, the A8X should power Apple’s rumored ‘iPad Pro’ tablet with an ultra high-resolution 12.9-inch screen. Read More


DigiTimes: 12″ Retina MacBook Air in limited production now

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2014

Apple’s rumored MacBook Air with a twelve-inch Retina screen has allegedly entered limited production, according to sources with Apple’s supply chain Wednesday morning who spoke to DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade publication.

Apple has reportedly commissioned contract manufacturer Quanta Computer to start building the ultra-thin notebook in small volumes in October, with output expected to increase gradually beginning November.

Apple is holding a media event next Thursday so a Retina MacBook Air could be on tap along with new iPads, a (possibly) refreshed Apple TV hardware and what not. Read More


Samsung confirms building 14nm A9 processors for 2015 iPhones and iPads

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 2, 2014

Echoing previous rumors, Samsung of South Korea confirmed to reporters Thursday that it will start churning out mobile processors for Apple before end of the year, ZDNet reported. The chips, likely to be branded under the “A9” moniker, will be manufactured on Samsung’s cutting-edge 14-nanometer process technology.

The confirmation came through the mouth of Kim Ki-nam, president of Samsung’s semiconductor-making arm and head of System LSI business.

Speaking to reporters at company headquarters in Seoul, Ki-nam quipped that his company’s fortunes “will improve positively” once sales are boosted thanks to the lucrative Apple chip deal. The new mobile processor should make their way into 2015 iPhone and iPad devices. Read More

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