Apple taps Primax Electronics for some of dual-lens camera modules for iPhone 7 Plus line

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

 

Chinese supplier commits to 100% wind energy for all Apple operations

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

 

Apple supplier Broadcom getting out of Wi-Fi chip business

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

 

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

 

Report claims Apple cutting iPhone 6s production by 30% this quarter

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

 

Get ready for iPad Pro shortages as Apple faces constrained availability of IGZO display panels

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

 

Apple Watch’s scratch-resistant sapphire coating is sourced from Russia

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

 

Apple turning to Chinese suppliers for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus batteries

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

 

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 Watch screen maker LG Display dominates 90% of market as Sharp posts huge losses

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

 

Apple reportedly having issues making Apple Watch’s screen

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

 

Apple building up to six million Watches ahead of launch

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

 

Apple eradicating ‘bonded servitude’ at supplier factories

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

 

Sony debuts 21MP camera sensor with 4K video, could be used in future iPhone and iPad

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

 

Apple apparently changes flash storage tech in 128GB iPhone 6 and 6 Plus over alleged issues

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

 

Apple supplier accused of forcing overtime and endangering workers

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

 

Apple working with Quanta to correct labor violations found in FLA report

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

 

New evidence hints that iWatch production is behind schedule, delayed for Q4 2014

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 29, 2014

The iWatch, Apple’s alleged fitness/health wearable device, may not launch in November alongside a 5.5-inch iPhone 6, as previously rumored.

If a revised guidance for the third calendar quarter of 2014 by Apple supplier TPK Holdings is an indication, ongoing production issues are to be blamed that the gizmo is running behind schedule and is now said to launch by the end of the fourth quarter.

Although TPK during its quarterly conference call with analysts did not mention Apple by name – nor has the Taiwanese supplier blamed Apple for its poor third-quarter performance – the iPhone maker is its biggest client and the rumor-mill did identify TPK as a supplier of flexible iWatch displays… Read More

 

Apple allegedly brings new supplier on board to help solve iPhone 6 battery production woes

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 15, 2014

Problems with mass production of ultra-thin batteries is among the reasons cited for a rumored delay of a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model.

Last month, Asian sources said both LG Chemical and Samsung, Apple’s battery cell suppliers for the iPhone, were struggling to produce battery components measuring 2mm or less.

Apple’s technical requirements apparently pose technical challenges as standard smartphone batteries have a thickness of roughly 2.8 – 2.9 millimeters. A new report alleges that Apple has now solved the issue by bringing a new supplier on board, Hsin Chu, Taiwan-based Simplo Technologies… Read More

 

Apple joins ‘SupplierPay’ initiative to speed up payments to small businesses

By Cody Lee on Jul 12, 2014

Apple has joined Coca-Cola, IBM and other major companies as an early adopter in the new White House ‘SupplierPay’ program. The initiative is aimed at accelerating payments from these larger firms to smaller businesses in their supply chain.

The program is a private-sector extension of QuickPay, another federal initiative designed to ensure small contractors are paid within 15 days of submitting an invoice. This helps them avoid borrowing money, increasing their chances to succeed… Read More

 
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