Tag - Hon Hai
Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- is preparing to hire some 100,000 people in mainland China to help manufacture new iPhones, says Taiwan's Economic Daily News. The effort is described as the company's largest-ever Chinese hiring spree. Another major Apple supplier, Pegatron, is meanwhile said to be boosting labor at a mainland factory by 30 percent for the sake of iPhone production. Foxconn is expected to handle 70 percent of orders, while Pegatron will deal with the remainder.
Taiwan-based manufacturer Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- saw its profits rise 13 percent last year to $3.5 billion, something attributed mainly to record iPhone and iPad sales, according to the Wall Street Journal. Foxconn is closely linked to Apple, deriving over 40 percent of its revenue from Apple orders. As such, any fluctuation in iPhone and iPad sales can dramatically affect its income.
Apple has published its eighth Supplier Responsibility report, based on data including 451 audits of its suppliers. The company claims a 95 percent compliance with the maximum 60-hour work week in its Supplier Code, a slightly improvement from 92 percent a year ago. Notably, Apple says it is now keeping a closer watch on where suppliers pull minerals from, in a bid to avoid "conflict" minerals -- minerals from regions where their sale may be used to fund ongoing wars. In particular, the Apple is focused on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
At leas a dozen current and former senior managers at Foxconn have been arrested for accepting bribes from iPhone parts suppliers, according to Tencent. The scheme is alleged to have originated with the company's retired senior VP, Liao Wancheng (pictured). Suppliers were made to pay 2.5 percent of their sales in kickbacks, as well as additional bribes for each new order. The people receiving the cash are said to have reaped "hundreds of millions" in Taiwanese dollars.
Foxconn – also known as Hon Hai, assembler of Apple's iPhones and iPads – is looking to capitalize on the anticipated boom in wearable tech by starting an investment fund to finance nascent companies working in the segment. Sources familiar with the project told Bloomberg this week that Syntrend Creative Park Co., a Foxconn unit, will administer the NT$200 million ($6.8 million) fund aimed at giving the firm a hand in the development of wearable devices in the vein of Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the Google Glass eyewear computer, and the suspected Apple iWatch. The move is the latest by Foxconn to diversify its operations to handle more things than the construction of iOS devices for its most lucrative partner.
Hon Hai Precision Industry, perhaps better known as the parent company of Foxconn, claims that it has sold Google a large swath of augmented reality patents. The patents cover a computer-generated image superimposed over a static or moving real-world image, and that the technique is commonly used in aviation, gaming, and training. No financial details of the deal are known.
Apple has asked is main manufacturing partner, Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- to start shipping new high-end and low-end iPhone models early next month, according to sources for the Wall Street Journal. Suppliers are said to have started parts production back in June. The sources don't have many details about the low-end phone, but do remark that the flagship device will have a metal casing and the same size and resolution as the iPhone 5.
Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, posted a 41 percent year-over-year increase in net profits during its second quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal. Net profits for Q2 2013 were NT$16.98 billion, or about $566.7 million US. In the same quarter of 2012, profits were NT$12.06 billion. The average forecast for this year had been NT$16.32 billion.
Hon Hai -- better known under its Foxconn brand -- has demonstrated a first-party smartwatch, reports say. The device can connect wirelessly to an iPhone, and display notifications for incoming phone calls and Facebook posts. Like some other smartwatches, it can monitor health signs like heartbeat and respiration, but with the bonus of tips on getting fitness up to par.
Apple is considering a range of possible options for expanding its iPhone lineup in 2014, say four sources for Reuters, some of which are said to be with Asian suppliers. The people claim that Apple is considering two bigger iPhone sizes, including 4.7- and 5.7-inch dimensions. Suppliers have reportedly been approached with plans for the bigger screens, but whether or not they'll make it into shipping products is uncertain. "They constantly change product specifications almost to the final moment, so you're not really sure whether this is the final prototype," one source says.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R