Supplier

Three major Apple suppliers have submitted preliminary bids for Toshiba’s flash chip business

In the coming weeks, Toshiba will unveil a final decision concerning selling a majority stake in its lucrative memory business. Bloomberg reported this morning that iPhone manufacturer Foxconn’s preliminary bid for Toshiba’s semiconductor unit is valued at a whopping $26.93 billion. According to Bloomberg’s sources, that amount is in part to force negotiations, using a bid that’s too high to ignore.

SK Hynix unveils 72-layer 256Gb 3D NAND flash memory chips suitable for future iPhones

Apple supplier SK Hynix unveiled 72-layer, 256-gigabit (Gb) 3D NAND flash memory chips based on triple-level cell arrays. By stacking 1.5 times more cells than the company’s previous 48-layer technology, a single 256Gb NAND flash chip can represent 32 gigabytes of storage with two times faster internal operation speed and twenty percent faster read/write performance than a 48-layer 3D NAND chip.

Apple Watch Series 3 to release in second half of 2017, older models likely to be discounted

A third-generation Apple Watch is expected to be announced in the fall with battery life and performance improvements. Today, DigiTimes said Apple had asked its suppliers to begin shipping parts for the device in the second half of 2017.

The tentatively named Apple Watch Series 3 should be assembled by Compal Electronics, with Quanta Computer taking over production of current models.

In other words, existing Apple Watch Series 2 and 1 models should be kept on sale at reduced prices after Apple Watch Series 3 hits.

Nikkei: Apple places order for 70 million bendable OLEDs for iPhone 8 with Samsung

Apple has placed a huge order for seventy million bendable organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels with Samsung’s display-making arm for use in iPhone 8, Nikkei reported Monday. Apple and Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, signed a deal last year to supply 100 million OLEDs for iPhone 8. In February 2017, Apple contracted Samsung to build an additional 60 million OLEDs for a total of 160 million units in 2017.

Apple, Amazon and Google in the bidding war to acquire Toshiba’s flash chip unit

Although Toshiba saw strong overall results from its HDD/SSD business in 2016, it’s spinning off the lucrative NAND flash unit into a separate company. It’s a last-ditch effort to plug a gap after the firm reported a heavy one-off $6.3 billion loss in December 2016, prompting its chairman to resign.

Korean Herald cited yesterday’s report in Yomiuri Shimbun Daily claiming that Apple, Amazon and Google are engaged in a bidding war to acquire the Japanese giant’s NAND flash unit. A very diverse conglomerate, Toshiba is Apple’s top supplier of memory chips for iOS devices and files as the second-largest flash chip maker in the world after Samsung Electronics.

Apple releases annual Supplier Responsibility report, here are the highlights

Apple today said its eleventh Supplier Responsibility report is now available, highlighting how its supply chain companies are treating workers and what they’re doing to improve working conditions at their facilities. In 2016, Apple trained more than 2.4 million workers on their rights. Since 2008, over two million people have participated in its Supplier Employee Education and Development (SEED) program.

The company audited 705 suppliers last year, saying that compliance with 60-hour maximum work week for employees has reached 98 percent, the highest ever.

More evidence points to late 2017 launch for iPhone 8

Evidence continues to mount suggesting that Apple’s AMOLED-based iPhone 8 flagship aka “iPhone Edition” may in fact launch later in the fourth quarter of 2017, unlike the refreshed LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus that should hit store shelves shortly following an announcement in September.

Citing industry sources, DigiTimes reported Tuesday that touch panel maker TPK Holding won’t begin churning out next-generation 3D Touch sensors for use in iPhone 8 before the fourth quarter of 2017.

Alleged supplier of iPhone 8 wireless charging components expects revenue boost

Component vendor Lite-On Semi was mentioned in a recent Chinese-language Commercial Times report as a possible supplier of wireless charging parts destined for Apple’s 2017 iPhones. According to Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, the supplier is expecting to see its revenues reach the peak for 2017 in the third quarter (when iPhone 8 is rumored to enter mass-production, mind you) thanks to robust demand for its power management chips used for wireless charging in smartphones and other devices.

STMicroelectronics tapped as supplier for iPhone 8’s rumored 3D camera sensor

Franco-Italian company STMicroelectronics used to be the sole supplier of accelerometers, gyroscopes and motion sensors for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices before Apple started dual-sourcing these microscopic components from both STMicroelectronics and Bosch Sensortec.

According to a report Wednesday by French blog iGeneration, the Cupertino company has tapped STMicroelectronics as a supplier for iPhone 8’s 3D camera sensor that should support exciting capabilities such as 3D sensing and mapping, 3D selfies, augmented reality features, advanced facial recognition and more.