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


Rumor roundup: 4″ iPhone in 2016, Apple Watch in-store availability at WWDC and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 3, 2015

A trio of supply chain reports out of Asia are making the rounds this morning. The first rumor suggests that one of a future-generation iPhones is a four-inch handset that should be released in Q1 2016.

The second report claims that Apple will formally announce walk-in purchases for its wearable device at its Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

And the third story informs us that an Apple and Samsung supplier is investing $260 million in a production facility to churn out 3D curved glass, suggesting the faint possibility of sapphire-protected screens on some iOS devices. Read More


Japanese manufacturers banding together to secure more iPhone orders

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 1, 2015

Though designed in California, the vast majority of Apple’s products are being assembled in China using parts predominantly provided by the vast network of suppliers from Taiwan.

But that may be changing now as Japanese manufacturers are reportedly making a concerted effort to secure more iPhone orders from Apple, according to DigiTimes on Monday.

Citing industry sources, the trade publication claims that Japan-based printed circuit board manufacturer Ibiden has bolstered up its manufacturing capacity as it hopes to solicit more orders from Apple. 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


WSJ: slow Apple Watch rollout due to faulty Taptic Engine

By Cody Lee on Apr 29, 2015

Faulty Taptic Engines may be behind the extremely limited availability of the Apple Watch, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the publication says that after mass production of the Engines began in February, quality testing found some of them to be unreliable.

The component, which Apple uses in its Watch to produce the sensation of being tapped on the wrist, is made by two suppliers: AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. and Nidec Corp. Apparently some of AAC’s Taptic Engines were found to break down overtime, so Apple has moved a majority of its production over to Nidec. Read More


Apple Watch selling out fast, shipping times slipping into June

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 10, 2015

At 12:01am PT Apple started taking pre-orders for the Apple Watch models through its online store and the Apple Store iOS shopping app. If you’ve managed to reserve your device for in-store pickup or home delivery on April 24, consider yourself lucky.

As MacRumors points out, pre-order shipping estimates for many Watch models have slipped to 4-6 weeks or later in less than six hours, with some models such as the 42mm Black Link Bracelet now set to ship in July. This means folks who just woke up and pre-ordered the device won’t get it until late next month or June. Read More


Apple warns of constrained Watch supply at launch

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 9, 2015

With less than 24 hours until Apple Watch pre-orders begin, the Cupertino firm has issued a media release advising customers to reserve their unit online because “we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch”.

Moreover, the company will be now taking orders for the device exclusively online “during the initial launch period.” 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


Samsung reportedly supplying advanced DRAM memory for upcoming iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2015

In addition to landing a contract to build Apple’s next-generation A9 mobile processor for 2015 iPhones and iPads, Samsung is said to be supplying the Cupertino firm with its advanced DRAM memory chips to be used in next-generation iPhones, as well as LG’s upcoming G4 flagship handset.

The South Korean firm files as the world’s biggest memory chip supplier. According to a report Tuesday by The Korea Times citing two people familiar with the deal, the contract is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and last at least for a year. Read More


Apple supplier Avago Tech rumored to provide 3D Touch technology for iPhone 6s

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 12, 2015

A report Thursday by the The Economic Daily News claims to have identified a company that will supply Apple with a pressure-sensitive touch technology for the next iPhone. US-based Avago Tech, which lists Apple as a key customer, will be the main supplier of a 3D touch technology for an ‘iPhone 6s’ refresh, supply chain sources assert.

For what it’s worth, recent reports by Tech News Taiwan and UDN did mention that the next iPhone might adopt the Watch’s Force Touch feature that uses tiny electrodes around the display to differentiate between a light tap and a deep press. Read More


Suppliers projecting 50M iPhone shipments in Q1

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2015

After shipping a record-smashing 74.5 million handsets during the holiday quarter, representing more than half of Apple’s total revenue for the quarter, the Cupertino firm could be poised to move about 50 million iPhone units in the first quarter of this year.

Tuesday, trade publication DigiTimes cited estimates by Taiwanese handset suppliers who expect shipments of iPhone devices to grow from the 43.7 million units in the year-ago quarter to as many as 50 million shipments in Q1 2015, a 14.4 percent annual increase. Read More


DigiTimes: 12″ MacBook Air with Retina screen ramping up for Q1 launch, replacing 11-incher

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2015

Contract fabricator Quanta Computer is ramping up production of the highly anticipated MacBook Air model with a twelve-inch screen as Apple preps to launch the forthcoming ultra-portable during the first quarter of this year, if a new report by DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade publication, is an indication.

Well-informed blogger Mark Gurman recently claimed that Apple is expected to raise the bar on notebook portability by engineering a lighter, thinner computer without a fan that ditches standard USB ports, the SD Card slot, Thunderbolt I/O and the MagSafe power connector in favor of a single, fully reversible USB 3.1 Type-C port. Read More


Apple rumored to be switching to OLED screens for future iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 8, 2015

Apple is teaming up with its contract manufacturer Foxconn on building OLED-based screens for future smartphones and wearables, GforGames reported Thursday citing a fresh report from Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, one of the leading newspapers in Japan.

Foxconn is said to be working with touch panel company InnoLux, also an Apple supplier, to put together an ecosystem which will allow the production of sixth-gen low temperature poly-silicon films, aimed at entering mass production in 2016. Read More


BBC investigation finds continued poor working conditions at Apple plant in China

By Jake Smith on Dec 18, 2014

The BBC launched an investigation into a Pegatron plant that Apple uses to manufacturer its products in China, and found poor treatment of workers, after Apple has stated several times that it’s cleaned up its act.

The British media giant found standards on workers’ hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers were being breached at the Pegatron factories. It even recorded workers falling asleep on the production line after a 12-hour shift. Read More

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