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

 

Rumor: Apple switching to Samsung-made Apple Watch chips, iPhone 6 battery and flash storage

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 26, 2014

The latest scuttlebutt fresh out of Korea has it that Apple is considering switching to Samsung-made components for the new iPhones and Apple Watch, including iPhone 6 batteries manufactured by Samsung SDI and NAND flash manufactured by Samsung’s component making arm.

The story matches up nicely with a BusinessKorea report earlier this month which claimed Apple was considering changing its flash storage provider due to alleged issues with some 128GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units. Read More

 

Report: Yahoo and Microsoft fighting to supplant Google search on iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014

According to a report Tuesday by The Information, a technology website started by The Wall Street Journal writer Jessica Lessin, both Microsoft and Google are “fighting” to boot Google search from the iPhone and other Apple devices.

If true, the move wouldn’t be unheard of: Apple teams up with alternate search providers in markets like China.

Apple earns a small commission from search ad revenue each time a user performs a Google search from Safari’s address bar on the Mac, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

With that deal expiring sometime in 2015, Microsoft and Yahoo are now hoping the Cupertino firm won’t renew it and will instead make their respective service the default search choice on iOS. 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

 

FT: Apple to bundle Beats Music with iOS next year

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2014

As Apple continues to migrate Beats Music to iTunes servers ahead of a major service overhaul, The Financial Times newspaper is reporting that the iPhone maker is looking to bundle the subscription music service into its iOS mobile operating system “early next year”.

If true, Spotify will have plenty to worry about because Beats Music would become instantly available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads without requiring a download. Read More

 

John Gruber: Apple working on ‘the biggest camera jump ever’ for the next iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2014

In the latest episode of The Talk Show, famed Apple pundit John Gruber mentions that he’s heard “from a birdie of a birdie” that Apple is working on the “biggest camera jump ever” for the next iPhone, as first noted by The Tech Block.

He’s heard little in terms of camera features aside from a brief mention of a “weird two-lens system” that should take the next iPhone’s camera into “DSLR quality imagery,” those are Gruber’s exact words.

Apple’s been using a five-element lens design for iPhone back cameras since the 2011 introduction of the iPhone 4s. Read More

 

Alibaba CEO on why a deal with Apple would help Apple Pay take off in China

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2014

Following its report last week alleging that Apple and Alibaba are currently ironing out specifics of an upcoming Apple Pay partnership in China, The Wall Street Journal on Monday published an interview with Alibaba CEO Jack Ma who explained why such a deal would be hugely beneficial to the iPhone maker.

Long story short, the Apple-Alibaba deal would help avoid any regulatory scrutiny that Apple would be subjected to as a new financial player in China. 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

 

WSJ: Apple and Alibaba ironing out specifics of Apple Pay partnership

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2014

Following reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook during last month’s visit to China discussed a rumored mobile payments partnership with UnionPay, The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday that the Cupertino firm met with Alibaba’s Jack Ma to reportedly iron out an Apple Pay alliance with the popular Chinese e-commerce company.

This could give Apple Pay a major boost in the 1.4 billion people country. Alibaba, founded in 1999, is the world’s largest online marketplace and has a commanding 80 percent market share in the country.

The company raised a whopping $231 billion during its initial public offering. Cook at the WSJ Digital conference last month hinted (the full uncut interview now available) that his company was in talks with Alibaba regarding partnering on Apple Pay. Read More

 

How much will stainless steel and gold Apple Watches cost? New rumor has the answer

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 4, 2014

The Apple Watch will start at $349 for the basic Sport edition with its anodized aluminum case and come in Spring 2015.

But what about the more expensive stainless steel version — and especially the luxurious gold edition which features a case crafted from 18-karat gold that “our metallurgists have developed to be up to twice as hard as standard gold“?

While the Cupertino firm has yet to reveal pricing for these Apple Watches, a new rumor shared by French blog iGen.fr [Google Translate] pegs the asking prices of the stainless steel model with a polished or black side at $500.

And if you have a hole burning in your pocket that demands to be filled with cash, you’ll definitely want to avoid the pricey gold edition. Read More

 

Rumor: Microsoft developing next-generation Surface Pro with 13″ to 14″ screen

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 4, 2014

Software giant Microsoft is reportedly considering developing a bigger Surface Pro tablet with a thirteen to fourteen-inch screen that should appeal to business users for whom productivity is the chief concern, according to a rumor Tuesday out of Taiwan.

As reported by DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade publication, success of the current twelve-inch Surface Pro 3 — Surface business revenues surged 127 percent to $908 million in the third quarter of 2014 — has encouraged decisions makers at the Redmond firm to consider an even bigger tablet. Read More

 

Apple rumored to drop iPad mini development to focus on larger ‘iPad Pro’

By Cody Lee on Nov 3, 2014

Apple is dropping iPad mini development in order to focus its efforts on the so-called ‘iPad Pro,’ according to a sketchy new report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News this evening. The site claims that this year’s iPad mini 3 model will be the last for the 7.9-inch tablet line.

Such a move wouldn’t be surprising, as Apple gave little attention to the smaller iPad at last month’s event. It’s believed that the mini is far less popular than its larger sibling in terms of sales, and due to production costs and pricing, it provides much smaller profit margins. Read More

 

Apple wants to enable iPhone 6’s NFC for building security, public transit tickets and more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 27, 2014

Most of the talk about NFC inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has centered around Apple Pay, the iPhone maker’s mobile payments service, but NFC has other uses, too. Android handsets typically use NFC for proximity-based wireless sharing and now The Information is reporting that Apple is considering adding more NFC-based features to the new iPhones, stuff like enabling secure access to buildings and transit fare systems. Read More

 

Apple reportedly negotiating to cut Beats Music prices by half

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 20, 2014

As Swedish music startup Spotify announced Monday giving family members a 50 percent discount on additional accounts, Apple is reportedly pushing Beats Music, acquired as part of its $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, to cut the price of its monthly subscription by half, according to Peter Kafka of Re/code on Monday.

Beats Music, a free download for the iPhone and iPad, currently requires users to pay a subscription fee of ten bucks per month for unlimited streaming of tens of millions of songs from its catalog. Read More

 

Rumor: Apple switching to laser-cut logo with “shine at the edges” across all 2015 products

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2014

In spite of both The Wall Street Journal and Re/code’s reliable John Paczkowski cautioning against a Retina refresh for Apple’s MacBook Air at tomorrow’s event, the hit-and-miss DigiTimes on Wednesday quoted Taiwanese suppliers as saying that small-volume shipments have already begun.

More interesting than that, sources asserted that the Cupertino firm is planning a major switch to using laser cutting and some advanced embedded technologies to make the Apple logo on products “3D-like and shine at the edges”.

This is allegedly a large-scale effort as all Apple products reportedly are going to feature the new logo in 2015, ”starting with the next-generation iMac”. As a reminder, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks the next iMac with a 5K Retina screen will be unveiled at tomorrow’s event, among other goodies. 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

 

Apple could also launch new iPad mini and Smart Covers with new colors this Thursday

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Rumors of a third-generation iPad mini arriving in 2015 (ahead of another rumored device, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro) rather than alongside the iPad Air 2 as previously suspected may have been greatly exaggerated after all, according to the fairly accurate Japanese blog MacOtakara [Google Translate] which today asserted that the Cupertino firm is in fact going to refresh the smaller device alongside its bigger sibling at this Thursday’s press conference.

The event should unsurprisingly see the addition of new colors to Apple’s Smart Cover case lineup, said to receive a tweaked design to accommodate the changes in the iPad’s form factor. Read More

 

Clearer circuit board photo reiterates iPad Air 2 may have faster A8X chip with 2GB of RAM

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Following a blurry shot posted by Taiwanese blog Apple.club.tw this weekend that purportedly depicts a claimed iPad Air 2 logic board with a chip labeled ‘A8X’, the same source Monday republished a much clearer image. It should be music to the ears of everyone hoping Apple will bump the forthcoming iPad Air 2 to two gigabytes of RAM. The RAM module appears to be built by Elpida, one of Apple’s memory suppliers, as determined by the markings on the chip.

Doubling the amount of RAM would admittedly allow the tablet to keep more applications active and result in smoother multitasking, faster graphics and performance improvements across the board. Read More

 

Apple not going to unveil Retina MacBook Air this Thursday, reliable report claims

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 13, 2014

Monday, Re/code’s well-informed John Paczkowski poured cold water on rumors calling for a Retina MacBook Air introduction at Apple’s upcoming media event this Thursday. The Cupertino company is not going to unveil a new MacBook Air model with a twelve-inch Retina display at the event, Paczkowski has learned from plugged-in sources.

“Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell me that the company’s latest reimagining of the ultralight laptop won’t be shown off at its Thursday event,” he said. As Paczkowski previously reported, the forthcoming press conference — which Apple teased under the ‘It’s been way too long’ tagline — should be about new iPads, OS X Yosemite and “a new hi-res iMac”. Read More

 
Page 1123