HTC allegedly among poaching targets
Apple has been hiring "hundreds" of new engineers and supply chain managers in China and Taiwan, according to sources for the Wall Street Journal. In particular the company is said to be building up teams in Shanghai and Taipei to accelerate product development and ship a wider range of devices. The supply managers may be at least partly meant to cope with allegations of labor and safety abuses at supplier factories.
Inventec, Quantec identified as manufacturers
The Apple iWatch is allegedly facing major yield rate problems in its supply chain, according to Taiwanese industry sources. The people suggest that the chain is currently only able to supply 30 to 40 percent of the order volumes Apple has been hoping for. The product's manufacturers -- at a ratio of 6:4 -- are thought to be Inventec and Quanta Computer. Expectations are that the iWatch will ship in the second half of 2014, at a price of about $149 to $229.
HDD shipments said to be returning to normal
Notebook makers are reportedly experiencing an uptick in shipments for the month, increasing approximately 10 percent over January's numbers, unnamed industry sources have told DigiTimes. The positive growth is said to be partially due to the recovery in hard drive availability following supply restrictions that resulted from flooding in Thailand.
iPhones, iPads getting brunt of supplier focus
iPods are expected to account for only 7 percent of Apple's 2011 revenue, sources with Taiwanese component suppliers claim. The amount is small enough that firms in the iPod supply chain are allegedly shifting focus away to iPhones and iPads. Current orders for iPod parts are described as being "much weaker" than in past years.
Nook Color 2 may be mild external update
Barnes & Noble's sequel to the Nook Color could be ready in days if a rumor from the supply chain is real. The design is supposedly due this month with a similar seven-inch screen and the same Android support for apps, e-mail, and other extras. Digitimes understood that Inventec would be the main manufacturer with Pegatron helping out and TPK making the touchscreen panels.
Microsoft Android suit vs Nook, Foxconn, Inventec
Microsoft hoped to further stifle competition from Android on Monday with a lawsuit targeting non-traditional sources. Following its belief that every Android device maker owes royalties, it sued Barnes & Noble and its manufacturers Foxconn and Inventec for allegedly infringing on patent rights through its Android-based Nook e-readers. It had unsuccessfully tried to negotiate a deal for more than a year and had "no choice" but to "defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility," Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez claimed.
HP Topaz may ship as soon as March
Supplier insiders claimed Tuesday night that HP would ship its first webOS tablets in March. The Palm team reportedly finished designing its tablets in 2010 but won't have its contractor, Inventec, ship until March. Digitimes' contacts said the delay gave HP and Palm time to test the software and coordinate the launch.
Inventec ships 60K Chrome OS netbooks for testers
Inventec today confirmed that it had already shipped 60,000 of Google's Cr-48 netbook. The systems will all be part of the Chrome OS Pilot Program destined for early testers and the press. The official word to Digitimes corroborates an earlier rumor, although it will be given away and not sold.
Google Chrome OS netbook may show Dec 7
Google's internal Chrome OS netbook may be unveiled at a special event on December 7 if a rumor proves true. The computer would still only be limited to about 65,000 units for "friends and family" and would be running a beta release. Engadget in getting the details raised doubts about whether it would be public facing at all, however, since invitations still haven't been sent to the press and it would overlap with AllThingsD's imminent mobile event.
Google Chrome OS netbook to get limited 2010 intro
Google's determination to have Chrome OS out this year should include a limited hardware release under its own name based on a rumor this afternoon. Similar to the approach taken late last year for the Nexus One, the PC would be limited to "friends and family" willing to try the beta version of Chrome OS, according to Engadget. Sources reportedly corroborated most of a recent production rumor, where Inventec would build about 75,000 units.
Google-branded ARM-based Inventec enroute
Google is reportedly set to launch a Google-branded smartbook this month running its new Chrome OS. The ARM-based smartbook is purported to be built by Inventec, a Taiwanese-based electronics manufacturer. It is expected to have 60,000-70,000 units ready for the initial launch run. According to the rumors, the sales model for the Google-branded device will be online only.
Taiwan phone firms say Windows Phone 7 too costly
Microsoft may have lost key Taiwan phone manufacturers after the costs and long delays for Windows Phone 7, companies based in the area reportedly said Wednesday. Most of them, including relative heavyweights such as Compal, Foxconn, Inventec and Pegatron, have committed to developing for Android over the next two to three years and aren't ready to switch. The Digitimes contacts further allege that they consider Microsoft's licensing fee too expensive when Google gives away Android for free.
Acer to badge future ultra-thins as Gateways
Once Acer sells off its current 13- to 15-inch ultra-thin notebook inventory, it will sell new ones under its mainstream Gateway brand, according to a new rumor. The only exception will be the 11.6-inch Aspire Timeline and TimelineX series, both of which will remain under the Acer brand, said sources speaking to Digitimes. The first such model will be a 13.3-inch ultra-thin notebook, with a 14-inch expected to follow later.
Inventec shows Dr. Eye smartbook with Android
A video of an upcoming Inventec smartbook has surfaced. Dubbed Dr. Eye, it also goes by the N18C designation and resembles a scaled-down netbook. The device has a QWERTY keyboard along with a 4.8-inch VGA touchscreen. A 624MHz Marvell PXA300 CPU powers the device, which runs on Android 1.6 but will be upgraded to 2.1 before it's sold at retail.
Shuttle to poach from ECS
Taiwanese PC maker Shuttle has been rumored on Monday morning to be looking at recruiting a team of 40 employees from notebook maker ECS. Industry contacts for DigiTimes claimed that the small form factor desktop and nettop specialist not only plans to add staff but also plans on raising funds by issuing 150,000 new shares meant for private placement, with Inventec's chairman Kou-I Yeh named as one such potential investor.
HP 11 6 inch netbook Rumor
HP's netbook line should get a larger 11.6-inch model if a source today proves true. Computer industry contacts for DigiTimes say Quanta is about to mass-produce such a system next month. Other details aren't published, but the larger size likely means a 1366x768 screen resolution instead of the more common 1024x600. One of HP's 10-inch netbooks should also get a revision and is purportedly slated by its manufacturer, Inventec, to be mass-produced in September.
Acer handsets due in fall
Acer will ship four of its previously seen smartphones, the A1, C1/E1, F1 and L1 at the end of September. According to a Wednesday report from industry daily Digitimes, the Taiwanese company is outsourcing production of the devices to Compal and Inventec. This information comes from sources at Taiwanese handset component suppliers, the paper cites.
Inventec mirasol handset
At the Mobile World Congress that has kicked off on Monday, Qualcomm and Inventec are showing the first smartphone to use Qualcomm's mirasol display, the Inventec V112. The 1.1-inch bichrome display sits below the main display and saves energy and is perfectly visible in broad daylight thanks to the technology inherent to its design. Mirasol screens use conductive plates to reflect light and change the wavelength to produce different colors in many small elements that make up each individual pixel.
HP to intro Mini 2150
According to a Friday report, HP will soon launch more model to add to its Mini family of netbooks. Most recently, the computer maker launched the Mini 2140 at CES, which replaces the Mini 2100 and brings with it an Intel Atom chip instead of a VIA C7-M as well as bumps up the screen size to 10.1 inches from 8.9. The report claims a Mini-note 2150 is the next model due for release, adding integrated 3G data network access to the specs.
Qualcomm intros Kayak
Qualcomm on Wednesday announced the Kayak PC alternative, designed to give users in emerging markets widespread and affordable access to high-speed wireless Internet. The Kayak PC alternative uses 3G wireless broadband to supply Internet access to markets in which wired Internet access is unaffordable or otherwise not available. Comprised of a reference design and a set of software specifications that can be made available to hardware builders, the Kayak PC alternative can be categorized in-between a desktop PC and portable, Internet-capable wireless devices.
Dell intros Pharos phones?
A false start on Dell's website revealed the computer and monitor maker may soon get into the smartphone game as well with a pair of Pharos-branded smartphones, the Traveller 117 and 127. While the phones have disappeared since making their short-lived online debut, their specifications were revealed so we know what to expect if and when they do come to market. Manufactured by Inventec, the devices feature access to 7.2Mbps HSDPA networks, assisted GPS capabilities and Windows Mobile 6.1 with the Microsoft Office Mobile suite.
HP 10 inch Atom Leak
HP plans to significantly expand its Mini-Note line in the fall along with a switch in processors, one new leak claims. Although an expansion has already been rumored, the new tip is more specific and alleges that a larger 10-inch model will ship with an Intel Atom processor rather than the VIA C7-M used in the 8.9-inch version. The system will purportedly ship with a solid-state drive and an unusual 1024x576 screen resolution rather than the 1024x600 of the current system.
Qualcomm Mini Notebook
Qualcomm has collaborated on a miniature notebook with Linux and plans similar efforts for Windows Mobile 7, the company has revealed today. Designed largely by Inventec, the Linux system will cost $300 but should have a Qualcomm 3G chipset to give it wide-area wireless access without buying extra hardware. the latter's senior VP Luis Pineda acknowledges that the PC hasn't been made official but promises a launch sometime before the end of 2008.