iPhone manufacturer Foxconn replaces 60,000 factory workers with robots

By Christian Zibreg on May 25, 2016

Robots are taking over iPhone manufacturer Foxconn: the world’s biggest contract fabricator has successfully replaced as many as 60,000 factory workers with sophisticated machines that use artificial intelligence to perform elaborate assembly work more efficiently than humans do, a government official told the South China Morning Post. Read More

 

Production machinery orders spiking ahead of iPhone’s switch to OLED screens

By Christian Zibreg on May 23, 2016

Many in the rumor-mill agree that Apple is planning to build an iPhone around the brighter, more power efficient AMOLED screen tech. New clues of 2017 bringing a major change to the iPhone’s display technology appeared with news this morning that the world’s top maker of display-making equipment, Applied Materials, reported an almost fourfold leap in orders for OLED production machinery. Read More

 

Apple asks suppliers to prepare for much higher-than-expected iPhone 7 production

By Christian Zibreg on May 23, 2016

Peak iPhone? If the latest supply chain report is to be trusted, the Cupertino firm doesn’t envision iPhone sales tapering off anytime soon, at least not this year. Barron’s said Monday, citing a report in the Taiwanese publication Economic Daily Times, that Apple has now asked its contract manufacturers and Asian suppliers to prepare for a much higher-than-expected iPhone 7 production volume in 2016.

Instead of ordering about 65 million handsets, which would have been in line with what Wall Street had been predicting, Apple needs between 72-78 million units of the new iPhone produced this year. Read More

 

DigiTimes: Intel to supply at least half of iPhone 7’s faster LTE cellular modems

By Christian Zibreg on May 17, 2016

Rumors continue to swirl that Intel had been commissioned to build LTE modem chips for Apple’s upcoming smartphone refresh, a marquee win for the semiconductor giant.

Tuesday, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported that Intel may supply up to fifty percent of LTE modems for the forthcoming iPhone 7 models.

Although Intel itself will package the modems, the chips will be mass-produced by contract manufacturers TSMC and KYEC, as per DigiTimes, indicating that the iPhone 7’s ‘A10’ system-on-a-chip may integrate an Intel-built LTE modem. These Intel-designed LTE modems for the iPhone 7 are said to be faster than those in the iPhone 6s. Read More

 

Suppliers ramping up hiring ahead of iPhone 7, which has ‘more complex’ design

By Christian Zibreg on May 17, 2016

Apple’s Taiwanese suppliers have kicked off the recruiting process in preparation for an ‘iPhone 7’, CNBC reported Tuesday citing Economic Daily News. The mass-hirings have started earlier than usual because the iPhone 7 design is said to be “more complex than previous models,” which meant that Apple’s suppliers needed to start work on iPhone 7 parts earlier than on previous iterations.

Both Foxconn and Pegatron had ramped up hiring as they prepared to assemble the upcoming iPhone 7 models, ahead of their expected September release. Read More

 

Design of Apple’s ‘A11’ chip for 2017 iPhones and iPads has been finalized

By Christian Zibreg on May 6, 2016

Taiwanese component makers are currently scrambling to fulfill orders as the Cupertino firm is getting ready to kick off production of this year’s upcoming iPhones and iPads.

Moreover, Apple’s engineers should now be close to completing work on a 2017 iPhone and have certainly been developing a 2018 iPhone for some time now.

Trade publication DigiTimes wrote in a new report that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), a foundry that builds chips for Apple, has now taped out an Apple-designed ‘A11’ chip that will power 2017 iPhones and iPads. Read More

 

Panama Papers leak suggests iPhone manufacturer Foxconn may have evaded $22 billion in taxes

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2016

A whopping 11.5 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, so-called Panama Papers leak, reportedly suggest that the world’s top contract fabricator Foxconn, which assembles iPhones and many other consumer electronics products for other tech firms, may have evaded taxes worth up to a massive $22.86 billion via investments in Panama’s offshore companies.

Foxconn vehemently denied its involvement in the Panama Papers scandal. In an eyebrow-raising move, the Taiwanese firm then dropped veiled threat it might resort to suing news publications that make up such rumors, according to DigiTimes on Friday. Read More

 

Apple supplier Sharp starts prepping AMOLED production lines, likely for future iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 6, 2016

Hot on the heels of a reported $3.5 billion acquisition of Sharp by Apple’s contract fabricator Foxconn, Sharp has reportedly begun setting up production lines dedicated to churning out AMOLED smartphone panels as Apple is said to be lining up suppliers to support its major move to outfit future iPhones with AMOLED screen technology.

According to a report Wednesday by DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade publication, Sharp is setting up three production lines that should have total monthly capacity of 9.85 million 5.5-inch equivalent AMOLED panels. Read More

 

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn buys Apple supplier Sharp in a $3.5 billion deal

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 30, 2016

It’s finally official: the world’s leading contract fabricator, Foxconn, which assembles iPhones and other products for Apple and other consumer electronics companies, has purchased the struggling Japanese giant Sharp, one of Apple’s display panel suppliers, in a deal valued at a reported $3.5 billion.

As reported today by The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn believes this transaction will improve its position on the technology value chain and has plans to expand Sharp’s production capacity and invest in the production of OLED screens that future iPhones are expected to adopt. Read More

 

WSJ: iPhone contract manufacturer Foxconn is delaying the signing of Sharp takeover agreement

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2016

As previously reported, Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer Foxconn has made a $6.2 billion bid to acquire the ailing Japanese consumer electronics maker Sharp, which has been in the business for a cool 103 years now. Although Sharp’s board has made the decision to accept the offer last Thursday, it seems the acquisition is not a done deal after all.

As reported Friday by The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn is reportedly delaying the signing of the takeover agreement after it had been “surprised” by new information Sharp had disclosed just a day before. Read More

 

Foxconn makes a $5.3 billion offer to buy ailing iPhone display supplier Sharp

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2016

The Wall Street Journal has it on good authority that Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract fabricator that assembles products for Apple and other companies, is buying Sharp, an iPhone display supplier.

Sharp has been in financial crisis for several years and banks have bailed it out twice in three years.

Foxconn has reportedly offered approximately ¥625 billion, or about $5.3 billion, to acquire Sharp. Back in 2013, Foxconn was supposed to buy a large stake in Sharp, but the deal quickly collapsed over share price dispute. Read More

 

Rumor: Samsung pouring $7+ billion into flexible OLED production for iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 14, 2016

Korean outlet ET News said Thursday that a contract between Samsung and Apple on supplying flexible OLED screens for future iPhones has practically been agreed upon, with the South Korean conglomerate committing to a whopping $7.4 billion in capital expenditure over the next couple of years to buy OLED manufacturing equipment needed to produce about 30,000 to 45,000 OLED sheets per month.

Although Apple is said to have secured agreements with other panel makers for OLED technology, the size of the investment suggests that Samsung is about to become Apple’s biggest flexible OLED provider. Read More

 

Apple supplier Sharp about to kick off mass production of energy-saving Super IGZO panels

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 4, 2015

Sharp, the ailing Japanese consumer electronics company, is about to start mass production of its Super IGZO panels for mobile devices that will have a higher resolution and consume up to twenty percent less energy than the company’s standard IGZO panels, which already use just a fifth as much power as standard liquid crystal displays.

Super IGZO panels will go into mass production in early 2016, according to a report Friday by Nikkei. The panels will be manufactured at Sharp’s Kameyama Plant No.2 located in Mie Prefecture as the ailing company seeks to replace “some unprofitable television panels” on the conveyor belts. Read More

 

Rumor: Apple TV 5 with ‘dramatically improved’ CPU and ‘new functions’ due in early-2016

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 4, 2015

The fourth-generation Apple TV has been available for less than two months and already talk is turning to a next-generation model.

A new report by DigiTimes, a hit-and-miss Taiwanese trade publication, cites unnamed supply chain sources as saying that a fifth-generation Apple TV with a brand new CPU and a heat-dissipation solution is entering into trial production in December and volume production in the first quarter of 2016. Read More

 

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 Independent.ie 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

 
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