Exclusive client believed to be Apple
Foxconn's display unit, Innolux, will be spending about NT$80 billion ($2.6 billion US) during the next two years on a new Taiwanese factory meant to supply an exclusive but unnamed client, says Innolux PR representative Sophia Cheng. The statement was in reference to comments made by Innolux President Wang Jyh-chau at a press conference earlier today. Although Cheng says she isn't aware if such a deal has been signed, the client is elsewhere believed to be Apple, one of Foxconn's biggest contracts and possibly one of the few that could justify such an expenditure or demand such secrecy.
LG, Japan Display said to be companion suppliers
For the upcoming 4.7-inch iPhone, Apple has picked a Taiwanese LCD supplier -- Innolux -- over Sharp or Samsung, according to a Taiwanese newspaper, UDN. Innolux is claimed to be Apple's third display provider for the phone after LG Display and Japan Display. Sharp is believed to have been ruled out because of quality problems during test production, while Samsung may have been dismissed simply because of Apple's desire to distance itself from its main rival.
Product would allegedly ship in first half of 2014
Officials from Apple met with peers at Corning, Foxconn, and G-Tech Optoelectronics in the US about two weeks ago to talk about the production of a TV set, according to sources for Taiwan's Economic Daily News. Foxconn is reportedly asking Corning to share some data about Gorilla Glass with G-Tech, so that the latter can do surface treatments needed to produce the set. G-Tech is relatively unknown in the West, but was once rumored to be behind the anti-reflection glass for the 2012 iMac.
Several suppliers speculated as handling Mini tech
Apple is taking on Innolux and Century Display as panel suppliers for the next-generation iPad mini, claims David Hsieh, NPD DisplaySearch's VP for the greater China region. "Innolux and China's Century Display will receive certificates for product qualification [from Apple] to supply [touch panels] for the iPad mini," he says. Innolux is already supplying touch panels for the 9.7-inch iPad, and earlier this week the head of the company's touch panel division, Yang Chiu-lien, said that his firm is focusing on smartphones and tablets in 2013, and hoping to ship 7-inch screens before 2014. It's expected that any panels Innolux produces will use the supplier's touch-on-display technology, which should avoid issues linked to the in-cell touch technology found in the iPhone 5.
Performance of iPhone 5 panels may be reason for switch
Apple may be planning to switch to "Touch On Display" panels from Innolux for the next-generation iPhone, according to the China Times. The panels are allegedly in testing by Apple, and described as being tough, 0.5mm thick, and offering better sensitivity and optical performance. It's thought, however, that Apple may be switching as much because of problems with the panels used for the iPhone 5.
iPad 2 stock trims as iPad 3 gets new supplier
Apple may be cutting back on iPad 2 shipments as it gears up to introduce a new supplier for iPad 3 LCDs, according to new rumors from the parts chain. LCD contractors were said by Digitimes to be making "inventory adjustments" by about 850,000 of the tablet's screens. In October, LG Display had cut its production by 500,000, while Chi Mei Innolux had cut its small output in half from 700,000 to 350,000.
MacBooks may get 8hr life, 640GB drives
Taiwan newspaper Apple Daily today claimed that new MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models are due to ship this month. Unnamed sources said the systems would use the mobile Core i3, i5 and i7 processors and that the 13- and 15-inch models would all get eight-hour battery life, up an hour from today. They would also get 640GB drive options with a 256GB SSD as an alternate.
Innolux said toughening 10-inch Apple tablet
At least one heavily rumored Apple tablet was moved to early 2010 to accommodate a glass panel issue, industry tipsters claimed Monday. Parts suppliers now say Taiwan's Innolux is providing 10-inch panels to Apple but that the release was moved to its supposed early 2010 release date to toughen the glass. Foxconn division G-Tech Optoelectronics, as well as Wah Hong Industrial, are said by DigiTimes to have been contracted to provide toughening material and film to protect the larger screen.
Innolux Apple Touch Orders
Taiwan display maker Innolux has landed new orders for touchscreens from Apple, say claims from those inside the industry. While few details are available, the company is expected to start shipments soon; the company itself declines to either confirm or deny orders from Apple but says it will soon ship a production run of touch panels using capacitive input like that of Apple's handhelds.