iPhone 7 flash memory maker Toshiba could sell its NAND flash unit to Western Digital

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 20, 2017

DigiTimes estimated this week that flash memory chips for smartphones will remain in high demand throughout 2017 because supply shortages are reportedly “worse than expected” as chip makers are currently transitioning from older 2D NAND to newer 3D NAND technology.

According to a report Friday in The Korea Herald newspaper, citing Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities analysts, Toshiba may spin off of its lucrative NAND flash unit and sell the stake to Western Digital, narrowing the technology and market share gap with its bigger rival Samsung Electronics. Read More

 

Lite-On Semi rumored to supply fast wireless charging components for iPhone 8

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 19, 2017

According to a recent Chinese-language Commercial Times report cited by trade publication DigiTimes, Apple signed a component contract with supplier Lite-On Semi which should provide several parts that the iPhone maker needs in order to realize fast wireless charging on iPhone 8.

The Taiwan-based supplier has been tasked with building GPP bridge rectifiers that help reduce thermal issue and increase efficiency of wireless power transmission. Read More

 

New iPads may not arrive until latter half of 2017

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 19, 2017

A trio of new iPads that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted for this year may not launch until the second half of 2017, according to supply chain reports cited by trade publication DigiTimes. The new 9.7, 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPads won’t launch before summer because they’re still in the planning stage.

The refreshed 9.7-inch model is expected to enter mass production in the first quarter while volume production of the other two models should kick off in the second quarter of this year. For what it’s worth, DigiTimes said in December 2016 that lower-than-expected yield rates for TSMC’s 10-nanometer process technology could disrupt planned March 2017 debut of new iPads. Read More

 

iPhone 8 said to use fixed flex 5.8″ screen with embedded sensors

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2017

Apple’s next iPhone is expected to adopt a 5.8-inch wraparound AMOLED display that utilizes a fixed flex screen like Samsung’s ill-fated Galaxy Note 7.

That’s according to a note Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri issued to investors on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider. Arcuri refers to the so-called tenth anniversary iPhone as “iPhone X”.

The analyst claims the 4.7-inch iPhone 7s and 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus models may switch from LCDs to AMOLEDs, too, if Samsung Display is able to supply enough panels to Apple. Read More

 

Apple to adopt forging process for iPhone 8 stainless steel frame

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 10, 2017

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that iPhone 8 will be switching to an all-glass design akin to iPhone 4 with a stainless steel metal frame rather than aluminum. Today, trade publication DigiTimes shed more light on the matter.

Quoting supply chain sources, the report states that Apple will adopt a stainless steel forging process for the new chassis frame instead of the traditional CNC machining process although the metal frame will need to be further refined by CNC machining. Read More

 

AirPods manufacturer Inventec is expanding capacity to meet strong demand

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 30, 2016

According to a brief report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily Times newspaper that was quoted Friday by DigiTimes, strong sales of the W1-enhanced AirPods and robust demand for Apple’s earphones during the year-end holidays have prompted supplier Inventec to increase production capacity. While Inventec declined to comment on its orders, it’s reportedly begun expanding capacity at its Shanghai plants, which are currently working overtime to deliver orders. Read More

 

NYT details Foxconn’s Zhengzhou facility that manufactures iPhones on a massive scale

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2016

Most of the iPhone models Apple develops, markets and sells are being assembled by Foxconn, the world’s leading contract manufacturer. In a new investigative piece, The New York Times newspaper delves into the inner workings of Foxconn’s iPhone manufacturing plant in Zhengzhou, a city of six million people in an impoverished region of China.

Fun fact: the world’s biggest iPhone factory, referred to as “iPhone City” by the locals, is capable of churning out half a million iPhones per day at peak. Read More

 

Sharp working to secure iPhone camera lens orders from Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2016

According to Japanese outlet Nikkei, cited by DigiTimes, Sharp is hoping to secure some camera lens orders from Apple for future iPhones. To boost its chances of cutting a lucrative deal with Apple, Sharp is now speculated to increase its investment in Japan-based lens module maker Kantatsu, in which it currently holds a 44 percent stake.

Sharp would need to compete with Taiwan-based Largan Precision, which currently supplies iPhone camera lens modules in volume. Sharp is owned by Foxconn, the world’s top contract manufacturer that assembles iPhones. Read More

 

Many Apple supply chain vendors won’t set up shop in U.S. even if Foxconn does

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 28, 2016

After the United States President-elect Donald Trump promised tax incentives to Apple to build “Made in USA” iPhones, Japanese outlet Nikkei reported that Tim Cook & Co. already asked back in June its contract manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron to look into assembling iPhones domestically. Foxconn reportedly complied, but don’t expect other Chinese vendors in Apple’s vast supply chain to follow suit.

As reported Wednesday by Chinese-language outlet qq and cited by trade publication DigiTimes, most Chinese supply chain makers will not follow Foxconn even if Apple decides to shift production to U.S. Read More

 

Poor yields for TSMC’s 10-nanometer process could disrupt next iPad launch

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 23, 2016

Trade publication DigiTimes said Friday that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has received orders to kick off volume production of Apple-designed A10X Fusion chips for the next iPad. However, unsatisfactory yields for TSMC’s 10-nanometer process technology could disrupt planned March 2017 launch of the next iPad series.

The proportion of semiconductor devices on the silicon wafer found to perform properly is referred to as the yield. Yield rates in semiconductor fabrication can be as low as thirty percent due to process variation and many other reasons. Read More

 

LG’s display division to start volume production of foldable displays for 2018 iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2016

LG’s display-making arm is said to be gearing up to kick off volume production of foldable displays for future iPhones, said Korean news outlet ETNews. In addition to Apple, LG Display should supply foldable displays to Google and Microsoft in 2018. LG-developed foldable display prototypes were of sufficient quality for the company to secure global manufacturers as its partners. Read More

 

Apple partners with wind turbine maker Goldwind to bring more clean energy to Chinese suppliers

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 8, 2016

In an effort to help bring more clean energy to its Chinese suppliers, Apple and wind turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology (also known as Goldwind) have entered into a cooperative joint venture agreement, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing spotted by the South China Morning Post newspaper.

Beijing Tianrun New Energy Investment, a Goldwind subsidiary, will transfer its thirty percent stakes in four project firms that will stay subsidiaries under Goldwind for stock exchange purposes. Read More

 

Sales of virtual reality and augmented reality gadgets have been weaker than expected

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 5, 2016

Sales of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets and accessories have been “weaker than expected,” causing concerns for companies that have invested heavily in these technologies, according to a report Monday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes. Weak demand for AR and VR gadgets is being blamed on a lack of content and expensive prices, among other factors.

Apple, as you know, is thought to be researching AR accessories of its own and has filed a number of patents pertaining to virtual reality technologies. Read More

 

iPhone 7 demand reportedly starts fading as iPhone 8 rumors continue picking up steam

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2016

Apple has enjoyed success with the new iPhone 7 family as the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus models saw strong demand, in some part due to Samsung’s Note 7 debacle. But demand for latest iPhones may have started to fade recently, forcing Apple to cut back on orders, Taiwanese supply chain sources told trade publication DigiTimes.

That’s especially true with the rumor-mill in high gear regarding next year’s massive iPhone 8 upgrade and all the talk of the so-called Tenth Anniversary iPhone gaining all-glassbezel-free industrial design and a wraparound OLED displays akin to that on the Galaxy S7 edge. Read More

 

10.5-inch iPad Pro rumored to target education and enterprise markets

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2016

Apple may position its rumored new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model as the go-to tablet in the education and enterprise markets, if a report Tuesday in DigiTimes is anything to go by. The Taiwanese trade publication learned from Asian supply chain makers that the Cupertino firm’s decided to add a new screen size to the lineup because existing 9.7-inch models proved too small and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro too expensive for business users and students. Read More

 

Panel suppliers struggling to meet Apple’s large order volume for OLED iPhones

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2016

For all the talk of Apple’s rumored switch to the superior, power-sipping organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology for next year’s iPhones, it’s increasingly looking like OLED screens will be limited to a single model.

That’s because panel manufacturers are currently struggling to meet Apple’s expectedly large order volume and stringent quality requirements. That OLED screens are far more difficult to produce than LCDs isn’t helping either.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Jungah Lee said today that four main OLED panel suppliers—Samsung Display, LG Display, Sharp and Japan Display—are currently suffering from yield issues, with constraints potentially continuing into 2018. Read More

 

Apple screen supplier Japan Display could receive government bailout

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2016

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple supplier Japan Display could receive a bailout of around ¥75 billion ($703 million) from the government-backed fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), which is its largest shareholder with a 36 percent share.

People familiar with the matter said that the display maker might receive new financing from INCJ through an issuance of subordinated bonds and may possibly get “additional support” from the fund. Read More

 

Apple aggressively boosting MacBook Pro orders with 15M estimated shipments in 2016

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2016

As the Internet keeps whining about supposed lack of features on the new MacBook Pro (let’s bring back the floppy drive, shall we?) and Apple’s master plan to make us buy more dongles, the Cupertino firm appears confident in the face of strong criticism that its latest notebook is indeed going to appeal to the general public and mainstream users.

According to supply chain chatter echoed by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, Apple’s been pretty “aggressive” in placing orders for the new MacBook Pros. Read More

 

AirPods may not ship until January 2017

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 1, 2016

After Apple shared disappointing news that the much vaunted AirPods aren’t quite ready yet and won’t meet its self-imposed late-October deadline, a new report from Chinese-language Economic Daily News re-published Tuesday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes suggests that Apple’s first-ever wireless earphones may not actually go on sale before January of next year. Read More

 

Note 7 recall has Apple boosting iPhone 7 orders to snatch market share from Samsung

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 25, 2016

Samsung is expected to lose a few billion dollars over the ill-fated Note 7 which got discontinued after numerous reports of spontaneous battery fires. The Note 7 debacle has created an opportunity not just for Apple and Google, but just about every vendor out there that builds high-end smartphones.

According to DigiTimes, Apple has now increased iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus orders for the crucial holiday quarter as it looks to snatch some market share from Samsung. Read More

 
Page 112345...