The unprecedented measures carried out by the Chinese government have contained the spread of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus, promoting Apple's contract manufacturers to start planning for their production levels to return to normal by the end of this month.
For yeas, Apple has been assembling iPhone SE and iPhone 6s in India via Wistron to save on importation costs. The contract manufacturer is now said to be expanding its production capabilities into newer models, including the latest iPhone XS and iPhone XR line.
Apple's contract manufacturer Wistron has been assembling iPhone SE units in India for more than a year, and now a new report alleges that the supplier has reportedly entered trial production of the nearly three years old iPhone 6s Plus smartphone there.
Apple could start shipping an updated version of the fourth-inch iPhone SE, its most affordable smartphone, in the first quarter of 2018, according to a new rumor Friday from Focus Taiwan.
Apple's legal battle with Qualcomm over excessive smartphone royalties has taken a turn for the worse as several Apple suppliers have officially sided with their key client to allege that Qualcomm has violated two sections of the U.S. antitrust law.
At least one of Apple's new iPhone models coming this year will be waterproof and have wireless charging capabilities, Apple partner Wistron has officially confirmed.
According to Japanese outlet Nikkei Asian Review, waterproofing will alter the assembly process for the upcoming iPhones a little bit.
Yuanta Investment Consulting and Fubon Securities analysts claim Wistron is splitting orders for the upcoming 5.5-inch devices “with flat displays” with Foxconn, meaning Wistron is probably referring to an LCD-based iPhone 7 Plus model as having wireless charging features.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted a few months ago that all three iPhone models coming this year would comet outfitted with wireless charging modules.
Wistron is an Apple partner that is currently making a small number of the iPhone SE and iPhone 6 handsets in India so it's a bit surprising that they would jeopardize their Apple business by confirming a feature the Cupertino firm has yet to discuss publicly.
Here's what a company official said:
Assembly process for the previous generations of iPhones have not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless charging now require some different testing and waterproof function will alter the assembly process a bit.
The iPhone 7 series is splash, water and dust-resistant, rated IP67 under the IEC standard 60529. According to Apple, “splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear.”
Wistron is probably talking about increased water and dust-resistance under the IP68 rating, like Samsung's Galaxy S8. The Korea Herald said in January that iPhone 8 would feature IP68-rated dust and waterproofing.
As for the rumored wireless charging features, Reuters recently reported that Apple has been testing at least five different wireless charging technologies.
In February, Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium, prompting some watchers to interpret the move as an unmistakable sign that iPhone 8 would use the ubiquitous interface standard Qi (pronounced chee) that's being widely used for wireless charging across a number of consumer electronics devices.
India has offered tax concessions to Apple to expand iPhone production in the country just days after it was announced that the Cupertino giant kicked off local iPhone SE production.
This is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plans to boost local manufacturing.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, the central minister for Electronics and IT, told Reuters this morning that Apple has already approached the Indian government regarding potential expansion of its manufacturing facility in the southern Indian technology hub of Bengaluru, operated by its Taiwanese supplier Wistron which as of recently has been assembling iPhone SE there.
According to the news gathering organization, the Indian government has offered to permit Apple to import handset components intended for use in local manufacturing tax free.
Here's an excerpt from the article:
Among a set of tax concessions, Apple had initially sought a 15-years tax holiday for all components that it would import for setting up a manufacturing facility in India.
A panel of ministries rejected that demand and has offered a phased program to increase the share of local production in the manufacturing, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary at the Ministry of Electronics and IT said.
“We have offered them tax exemptions on those components which could not be manufactured in India,” Sundararajan told Reuters.
Local manufacturing component would have to be increased gradually, he added.
The tax concessions will be subject to the condition of increasing local value addition over a period of time, to which Apple has reportedly agreed to.
“It will be a little early to say that India and Apple have agreed on the common ground,“ cautioned a government official.
It's been speculated that Apple and Wistron began making iPhone SE in India as a way to lower the handset's price point in order to make it more affordable to Indian consumers.
It's official: Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron will be assembling iPhones in a facility set up at Peenya on the outskirts of Bengaluru, The Times of India reported Friday. No timeline has been provided, but production is expected to begin in June. The Karnataka government issued a release yesterday in which regional IT minister Priyank Kharge welcomed Apple's proposal “to commence initial manufacturing operations” in the state.
Hedging its bets, Apple has apparently commissioned a third contract manufacturer to build iPhone 8 alongside established suppliers and longtime partners Foxconn and Pegatron. According to a Chinese-language report in the Economic Daily News newspaper, quoted by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, Apple supplier Wistron will get to build some of the future iPhone units.
Apple has long relied on Foxconn, the world's top manufacturer, to assemble its gadgets. In small part, Apple also taps Foxconn's rival, Taiwan-based Pegatron, on a regular basis for some orders. According to a new Wall Street Journal report Wednesday, Tim Cook & Co. have now contracted an additional two companies to help assemble iPhones and iPads amid growing demand for the products.
Mind you, it's not like Apple suddenly stopped loving Foxconn - the company will continue to build the iPhone 5s - but the report makes a passing mention of Apple apparently being dissatisfied with the high repair costs over defective iPhone 5 units and ongoing labor controversies surrounding Foxconn...