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
By Christian Zibreg on Jan 10, 2017
iPhone manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group posted its first ever sales decline since it went public back in 1991, Japanese outlet Nikkei reported Tuesday. The outlet expectedly blames “lukewarm demand” from Foxconn’s biggest client Apple and the “saturated smartphone market” for the 2.81 percent drop in annual sales.
For context, Foxconn earns more than half of its revenue from doing business with Apple. The Taiwanese company is also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry and assembles iPhones and other gadgets like PlayStation consoles, notebooks, wearable devices and so forth on a mass scale. Read More
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
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 23, 2016
Citing a report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, Asian trade publication DigiTimes reported this morning that Taiwanese supplier Primax Electronics will manufacture some of the dual-lens camera modules for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 Plus flagship smartphone model.
The supplier recently increased its camera module capacity by ten percent, boosting output to twelve million CMOS units per month, of which seventy percent are thirteen-megapixel models that the iPhone 7 Plus might use. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 17, 2016
Apple today issued a press release updating the public on its environmental progress in China while applauding its supplier Lens Technology, which in an unprecedented move has committed to utilize 100 percent renewable energy in all its glass production for the Cupertino firm by 2018.
Lens will use wind energy to power its two facilities in Changsha, Hunan province which are used for Apple manufacturing. The move will avoid nearly 450,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the energy use in 380,000 Chinese homes. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2016
Fabless semiconductor company Broadcom is looking to phase-out its Wi-Fi chip-making business, according to industry sources who spoke with Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes. Broadcom is currently Apple’s top supplier of Wi-Fi chips used in Macs, iPhones, iPads and iPods so it looks like the Cupertino firm might be forced to find a new supplier soon.
Broadcom designs its own products but contracts out actual silicon production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), which also builds Apple-designed application processors for iOS devices. Read More
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
By Cody Lee on Jan 5, 2016
Japanese and South Korean component suppliers are bracing for a significant drop in their business with Apple, reports Nikkei. Citing lackluster sales, the outlet claims that the Cupertino firm is expected to reduce output of its latest iPhone models by around 30% for the January-March quarter.
“The U.S. company had initially told parts makers to keep production of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus for the quarter at the same level as with their predecessors. But inventories of the two just-launched models have piled up at retailers in markets ranging from China and Japan to Europe and the U.S.” Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 15, 2015
Launch supply of Apple’s new iPad Pro could be constrained as the supply of panels for the 12.9-inch device faces shortages, DigiTimes reported Tuesday. As per their supply chain analysis, iPad Pro shipments are expected to reach less than 3 million units in the fourth quarter of this year, which amounts to an average of one million iPad Pros a month. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Aug 19, 2015
Apple’s partnership with the now bankrupt GT Advanced Technologies has crashed spectacularly, but that didn’t stop the Cupertino firm from seeking out alternative sapphire suppliers for the coating on the stainless steel Apple Watch’s screen. And it’s found out in Russia, the country’s Sputnik News newspaper reported Wednesday. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2015
Tuesday, a fresh new report claimed Apple’s been seeking additional battery providers for upcoming new iPhones, presumed to be marketed as ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’.
Apple is now sourcing more batteries for iOS devices from Chinese suppliers which have caught up with their Taiwanese competitors in terms of sufficient battery core supply and production capacity. Read More
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
By Christian Zibreg on May 14, 2015
One Apple supplier’s misery is another Apple supplier’s fortune. Two of Apple’s key display suppliers — Sharp and LG Display — are not enjoying quite the same positive effects from working with the Cupertino firm. At one end of the spectrum is LG Display, an exclusive supplier of flexible OLED panels for the Apple Watch.
The company now dominates the smartwatch display market with a ninety percent market share thanks to its lucrative contract with Apple, as per Business Korea.
On the other is Japan-based Sharp, one of Apple’s display suppliers that has barely managed to avoid collapse after posting an annual net loss of a whopping $1.9 billion, according to The Financial Times on Thursday. Read More
By Jake Smith on Mar 23, 2015
Apple is having issues manufacturing the 1.5-inch AMOLED screen for the Apple Watch, and as a result, has cut initial production and shipment targets in half, according to UDN Mobile.
Citing sources in Apple’s supply chain, the Taiwanese publication says Apple has cut shipments from between 2.5 to 3 million units to between 1.25 and 1.5 million units. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2015
Apple has commission its suppliers to build five to six million Watch units in the first quarter of 2015, ahead of its April release, The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported Tuesday.
Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc is the main assembler of the wrist-worn device. Half of the first-quarter production order is earmarked for the entry-level $349 Apple Watch Sport model, or about three million units. Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 11, 2015
Apple has informed its supply chain partners that it will no longer tolerate the charging of recruitment fees to new hires, the company said in its annual Supplier Responsibility report on Wednesday. The practice is common in countries like China, where labor is in short supply, and manufacturers use third-party brokers to help staff their factories.
“It is in essence bonded servitude,” Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams tells Bloomberg, describing a scenario in which a factory new-hire is forced to take on a huge debt before they even begin work. “That fee needs to be paid by the supplier and Apple ultimately bears that fee when we pay the supplier and we’re OK doing that.” Read More
By Jake Smith on Nov 17, 2014
Apple supplier Sony has announced a new 21-megapixel mobile camera sensor, dubbed the Exmor RS IMX230, that could see itself in a future iOS device after the sensor begins shipping in April 2015. The IMX230 camera uses a stacked CMOS imaging sensor design, allowing for faster auto-focusing and better image quality. It also features 4K HDR video. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 7, 2014
Following unconfirmed reports that an unknown portion of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units with 128 gigabytes of storage exhibit random boot looping and unexpected crashes, Apple has reportedly switched to using a different type of NAND flash technology.
The new iPhones use triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash technology, but BusinessKorea reported Friday that the Cupertino firm will be switching to multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus going forward. Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2014
An Apple supplier has once gain come under scrutiny for labor violations. Both Green America and China Labor Watch are reporting that Catcher, who is responsible for making iPad and MacBook casings for the company, is endangering and exploiting its workers.
At its factory in Suqian, China, Catcher is accused of failing to provide adequate protective equipment for employees handling toxic materials, and various other safety violations. The manufacturer is also charged with forcing overtime: 10+ hours per day, 6 days a week. Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 15, 2014
Apple is once again being criticized for the behavior of one of its Asian supply chain partners. The Fair Labor Association (or FLA) has released a new report, auditing two factories operated by the company’s partner Quanta, and it found quite a bit of non-compliance at both facilities.
The issues detailed in the report range from inappropriate recruitment fees, to extended overtime. In fact, the FLA found that 62% of Quanta employees at its Changshu plant failed to receive mandatory rest days at least once over a three-month period during the fourth quarter of 2012… Read More