Sketchy report has it that Apple may cut iPhone prices come early 2018

Apple usually drops prices for older iPhones right after a new model arrives, but a sketchy supply chain report is claiming that iPhone X, the best and most expensive iPhone ever made, might receive an unexpected price cut come as soon as early 2018…. Read the rest of this post here



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Apple Watch shipments projected to grow to 27 million units in 2018

Thanks to stronger than expected sales of Apple Watch, which has been available since April 2014, supply chain sources have upgraded their shipment projections for next year…. Read the rest of this post here



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Facebook’s secretive hardware lab working on a video chat device

In addition to an upcoming HomePod rival with a fifteen-inch screen, Facebook’s secretive “Building 8” hardware lab is also supposedly working on a dedicated video chat device for the home that would make it seem like people are in the same room, according to Bloomberg’s sources who spoke with reporters Mark Gurman and Sarah Frier…. Read the rest of this post here



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Industry-wide shortage of DRAM chips may impact production of 2017 iPhones

A major malfunction at one of its manufacturing facilities in Taiwan has caused DRAM chip provider Micron Technology to scrap half of the wafers produced at the plant, trade publication DigiTimes said Thursday. About 60,000 units of twelve-inch wafers have been scrapped.

The problems with nitrogen gas have caused production lines at the fab to stop temporarily, said a report from Taiwan’s TechNews, without citing its source.

Research firm TrendForce said that a nitrogen gas dispensing system malfunction had led to the contamination of wafers and equipment in Micron’s plant near central Taiwan.

The facility in question is known to have produced LPDDR4 RAM for iPhone devices in the past.

”The temporary shutdown of Fab-2 could have an impact on shipments of the upcoming new iPhone devices as well,” added the research firm.

TrendForce analysts base their reports on channel checks in the supply chain.

“Regarding recent rumors about Micron’s fabrication facility in Taoyuan, Taiwan, Micron hereby clarifies that there was no nitrogen leaking incident nor evacuating of personnel,” Micron said in a statement to Reuters.

“There was indeed a minor facility event but operations are recovering speedily without material impact to the business.”

According to DRAMeXchange in June, the average selling price of these chips will rise five percent sequentially in the third quarter of this year as supply remains tight. The rise in DRAM prices could also be seasonal due to the expected ramp up in iPhone production during the summer ahead of new models coming in the fall.

DRAMeXchange is a division of TrendForce.

It’s unclear if the incident at the Micron plant will impact Apple’s launch volume targets for the OLED-based iPhone 8 and the iterative LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus smartphones.

The Cupertino company typically diversifies its suppliers in order to minimize risk.

For what it’s worth, Apple has also experienced a shortage of 3D NAND flash chips for 2017 iPhones due to lower-than-expected yield rates for SK Hynix and Toshiba’s 3D NAND technologies, forcing the Cupertino giant to turn to Samsung as a supplier.

iPhone 7 X-ray image courtesy of iFixit



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Suppliers gearing up for production of iPhone 8’s curved-glass chassis

iFixit iPhone 6s teardown image 004 Battery

In 2017, the iPhone should undergo a top-to-bottom industrial design overhaul with a number of hardware improvements planned for the handset, such as a wraparound AMOLED display curved at both sides like that on Samsung’s Note 7 and the Galaxy S6/S7 range, as well as an all-new glass enclosure.

According to a recent Chinese-language Commercial Times report cited by DigiTimes, Taiwanese suppliers are now ordering machinery for the production of curved glass chassis for next year’s iPhone lineup. The glass casing should help differentiate the Tenth Anniversary iPhone, as the media affectionally calls the device, and give Apple fans more reasons to upgrade…. Read the rest of this post here



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Apple Watch 2 could employ One Glass Solution technology for a thinner, lighter display

Apple Watch (Retina display 001)

Aside from other rumored hardware improvements, a second-generation Apple Watch should ditch the current Glass on Glass (G/G) Retina touchscreen and replace it with a thinner and lighter display based on so-called One Glass Solution (OGS) screen technology, according to Apple supplier TPK Holding cited Friday by Taiwan’s infamous hit-and-miss trade publication DigiTimes.

Because OGS eliminates a layer, adopting the technology should help the Apple Watch 2 conserve space and potentially even accommodate a larger battery…. Read the rest of this post here



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Ultra-thin MacBooks with metal injection mold-made hinges due in second half of 2016?

Twelve inch MacBook Silver closeup 001

Apple is expected to revamp the rest of its notebook lineup around ultra-thin MacBook models later this summer, which poses questions regarding the future of the existing MacBook Air lineup as Apple’s thinnest notebooks. In a new report Friday, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes cited local component makers as saying that they are starting to see increasing competition for related component orders ahead of a rumored launch of “new ultra-thin MacBooks in the second half of 2016.” … Read the rest of this post here



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Report: New ultra-thin MacBooks coming later in 2016, featuring new metal-injection molded hinges

Although it seems inevitable that the MacBook lineup will see some significant changes this year, as a major upgrade has been due for a while, the rumor mill is yet to close in one particular design or release date. Earlier in the year, Digitimes was reporting new MacBooks (intended to supplant the MacBook Air) are due sometime before July, resembling 13 inch and 15 inch versions of the 12 inch Retina MacBook.

A new report from Digitimes today says otherwise, suggesting the new MacBooks will not be available until the second half of this year, although an announcement at WWDC still seems possible if Apple met the earlier side of that release range.

more…

Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices, Mac, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple, DigiTimes, iOS, Mac, MacBook Pro, Retina MacBook, rumor
Source: 9to5 Mac

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

Apple's Nevada data center and solar field

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 the rest of this post here



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Rumor: Apple planning massive 5.8-inch iPhone model with AMOLED display

iPhone 5se iPhone 7 concept Curved image 007

Citing Taiwan-based Apple supply chain makers, Taiwanese publication DigiTimes wrote in a pre-publication note yesterday that Apple is planning a huge iPhone model with a 5.8-inch screen based on the superior AMOLED display technology.

Apple is reportedly rumored to “have plans to launch a 5.8-inch iPhone featuring rigid AMOLED display panels in 2018 or even earlier in 2017,” reads the note. Currently, Apple’s iPhone 6/6s series is offered in two screen sizes—4.7 and 5.5 inches—while the older iPhone 5s and the upcoming ‘iPhone SE’ address the market segment for four-inch smartphones…. Read the rest of this post here



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