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

 

iPhone 7 may launch with LG-made dual-lens camera because Sony is behind schedule

By Christian Zibreg on May 20, 2016

Remember the rumor, backed by a report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that only a 5.5-inch model of an ‘iPhone 7’ would have a dual-lens camera while its 4.7-inch brethren would get stuck with a boring single-camera module?

Now we know where that came from: Apple’s camera supplier Sony has fallen behind schedule, prompting the iPhone maker to add another dual-camera supplier to the mix: LG’s Innotek division. That’s the current word on the street, according to a Barron’s report citing Nomura Securities analysts. Read More

 

Samsung to re-enter Apple’s supply chain for NAND flash memory chips in 2017

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 20, 2016

Following a five-year hiatus, Apple’s frenemy Samsung is set to supply NAND flash memory chips to Apple for its devices beginning with 2017, ETNews reported Wednesday. NAND flash memory is extensively used across Apple’s many products, including the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Mac notebooks.

Apple dropped Samsung as a NAND flash supplier following the iPhone 5 introduction in 2012 because the South Korean conglomerate was stuck with ball grid array (BGA) packaging and refused to invest in land grid array (LGA) package contacts that allow the flash memory chips to sit flush with the printed circuit board and were required to comply with Apple’s electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding requirements. Read More

 

Apple’s allegedly brokered $2.6 billion deal with Samsung to supply OLED panels for iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2016

Apple has reportedly brokered a deal with its South Korean frenemy Samsung, worth an estimated $2.59 billion, to supply OLED panels for future iPhones, scheduled to ship in 2017. Citing sources familiar with Samsung’s plans, The Korea Herald reported Friday that Samsung’s mobile display making arm, Samsung Display, will manufacture about hundred million OLED panels annually, measuring 5.5 inches diagonally, starting next year. Read More

 

Samsung and other suppliers secure orders for second-generation Apple Watch parts

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 14, 2016

According to Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, which knows this stuff inside out, Apple’s Asian suppliers are now starting to receive orders for the components that will be used in a second-generation Apple Watch.

Samsung, along with other overseas manufacturers like Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, have reportedly secured component orders for the Apple Watch 2, which one analyst believes could be up to forty percent thinner and debut at Apple’s annual developers conference this summer. Read More

 

DigiTimes: Apple turns to established Chinese server vendor to bolster iCloud infrastructure

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 11, 2016

Apple has reportedly started buying servers from a government-backed Chinese firm, called Inspur, to use in its data centers, Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reported this morning. Apple’s never confirmed nor denied industry speculation that much of its iCloud data centers run on Amazon’s Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure platforms.

That being said, Apple’s reportedly embarked on a project to migrate iCloud services to its own data centers in order to satisfy increasing demand for iOS devices, reduce expenses and further reduce any possibility of attacks on the iCloud platform. Read More

 

DigiTimes: Apple testing dual-lens cameras for iPhone 7 Plus from three different suppliers

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 2, 2016

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is adamant that Apple is working on a premium edition of an ‘iPhone 7 Plus’ that will come outfitted with dual-lens cameras for telephoto functions and today DigiTimes is reporting that Apple is already testing dual lenses for the handset sourced from three different suppliers.

The hit-and-miss Taiwanese trade publication has it on good authority, citing sources from the upstream supply chain, that Apple supplier Largan Technology and two unnamed Japan and China-based vendors have shipped dual-lens camera samples to 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California, for testing. Read More

 

LG Display increasing curved OLED production as rumors of OLED iPhones intensify

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 19, 2016

Multiple sources have been adamant over the course of past few months that Apple and its Asian suppliers have been making preparations to produce tens of millions of OLED panels for use in future iPhones.

Tuesday, Taiwan-based DigiTimes said, citing a report by Korea-based ET News, that LG Display, the lone supplier of flexible OLED screens for the Apple Watch, has begun ramping up curved OLED production amid rumors of the Apple OLED switch. 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 said to be close to signing OLED deal with Samsung and LG Display for future iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 30, 2015

A report Wednesday by ET News contends that Apple is “close” to signing a definitive supply agreement with both Samsung Display and LG Display concerning OLED screens for future iPhones.

Although iOS devices have used ubiquitous liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels since their inception, organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology features deeper blacks and requires less power because it doesn’t need a power-hungry backlight module to illuminate the pixels. Read More

 

iPhone 7 rumored to be waterproof, hide the antenna bands

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2015

According to a new supply chain rumor out of Taiwan, Apple’s ‘iPhone 7’ will be waterproof and feature a brand new antenna-concealing technology that will hide those unsightly antenna bands which iPhone 6/6s owners have been complaining about.

As reported this morning by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, Apple’s supplier Catcher Technologies will provide the iPhone 7 chassis which is said to be waterproof and use “new compound materials”. 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

 

Apple supplier LG Display building $4 billion OLED plant

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2015

LG Display, which supplies Apple with flexible OLED screens for the Apple Watch and LCD panels for other gadgets, is reportedly building a brand new facility that will significantly increase its OLED panel production as the firm looks to meet expected market demand as of 2017 onwards, according to a report from Korea’s Digital Times cited by DigiTimes.

The new plant will cost north of $4 billion to build, with assembly lines expected to start churning out OLED panels for smartphones, tablets and TVs sometime between 2017-2018. Read More

 

Samsung reportedly on the verge of supplying OLED screens for future iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2015

Samsung, which uses AMOLED screens in many of its flagship smartphones and tablets, could become a major provider of OLED panels for the iPhone maker as a deal is all but secured, according to an ETNews report Friday citing a Samsung Display employee.

The report arrives hot on the heels of a research note that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sent to clients earlier this week, in which he estimated that Apple won’t be switching to AMOLED screens for iPhones anytime soon and will continue using the existing LCD display technology for at least the next three years. Read More

 

Apple Watch 2 already in the works for summer 2016 release, Apple supplier claims

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2015

The Apple Watch may have been met with a muted response from critics (and it’s still being rolled out around the world), but that’s not stopping Tim Cook & Co. from working on a next-generation model.

According to an Apple supplier, a second-generation Apple Watch is already in the works.

It’s said to be released late in the second quarter of next year, a little more than a year after the original model’s debut. As reported by Taiwanese media, Barry Lam, the chairman of Quanta Computer, the company that assembles the Apple Watch, said during an investor meeting that the Apple Watch 2 is being developed, shockingly, as we speak. 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 to iPhone 6s suppliers: ‘give us more, give us more’

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 3, 2015

Apple’s ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ may have entered volume production one to two weeks later than originally expected, but the Cupertino firm is now asking component suppliers to increase their output ahead of next Wednesday’s unveiling.

A new report Thursday by Reuters alleges that increased orders might serve as a confirmation of Apple’s faith in the new handsets. The report cites Japan Display CEO Mitsuru Homma, who said that his company’s “biggest client” is “coming to us with more orders, saying ‘give us more, give us more’. Read More

 

iPhone 6c with A8 chip, Touch ID and Apple Pay coming in time for Thanksgiving?

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 21, 2015

Apple’s rumored ‘iPhone 6c’ boasting an in-house designed ‘A8’ processor, a four-inch Retina screen, Touch ID fingerprint scanning and Apple Pay mobile payments could be with you in time for Thanksgiving, according to latest reports from Apple’s supply chain.

Assuming the reports are true, the mythical device will pose a significant jump in terms of hardware versus the iPhone 5c, which runs the iPhone 5’s three-year old A6 processor and has no biometric authentication or NFC. Read More

 

Sharp and Foxconn rumored to build and assemble touch modules for iPad Pro

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 20, 2015

The plot is thickening following yesterday’s analyst report that Apple’s larger-screened iPad is entering mass production in September and October and recent sightings of an unreleased “iPad6,8” model with a screen resolution of 2,732-by-2,048 pixels in commercial app analytics data.

According to Asian trade publication DigiTimes, Japanese giant Sharp and Foxconn, the world’s top product assembler, will be supplying touch modules for the larger iPad, tentatively dubbed by the press the iPad Pro. Read More

 
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