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Tag - Wintek
A sharp fall in Wintek's June sales could signal that the company has lost out on orders for next-generation Apple products, specifically a new iPhone, says Topeka Capital Markets' Brian White. The analyst notes that on average, Wintek's June sales have grown 1 percent month-over-month. This year, though, they plummeted 33.6 percent, making for the company's worst month-to-month crash since late 2008.
Two of Apple's touch panel suppliers, TPK and Wintek, wiil see shipments to drop by 15 to 20 percent in the current quarter because of the transition from the iPhone 4S to the next-generation iPhone, industry sources tell DigiTimes. The 4S is described as "moving into the final stage of its product life cycle," and TPK has previously stated that it expects revenues to fall 10 percent sequentially in Q2 as a result of iPhone 4S stockpiling and people holding off on buying an iPhone.
Apple's next iPhone might drop the traditional glass-on-glass approach to touchscreens if one rumor proves true. Part suppliers claimed to Digitimes that Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display were "likely" producing in-cell touch panels now that yield rates were good enough for the two to participate. The two would start production of in-cell panels sometime during the spring, although it wasn't clear if that schedule would include Apple.
Amazon's rumored Kindle Fire lineup expansion might get larger still based on an unusually specific rumor late Wednesday. There would be "at least two" new Kindle Fire models in 2012, Digitimes insisted, with as many as four depending on Amazon's ambitions. A 10.1-inch model was supposedly on track for July shipments and would aim at the $249 to $299 price range, with HannsTouch supposedly joining TPK and Wintek in making touch panels.
Apple is telling activists in the US and China that it will soon permit independent environmental reviews of at least two Chinese suppliers, according to USA Today. Prominent Chinese activist Ma Jun, the founder of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, tells the paper that Apple agreed to the reviews in late January. The move is said to have been made in response to two reports by the IPE and other environmental groups, showing toxic chemical use and hazardous waste leaks at companies thought to be Apple suppliers. Apple rarely acknowledges which companies are a part of its supply chain.
Apple has faced both internal tension over as well as misleading statements from its Chinese suppliers, an in-depth investigation has uncovered. Focusing primarily on Foxconn, the New York Times spoke to numerous current and former Apple executives who said that, while there were improvements in the years since Apple began auditing factories, the company has so far stopped short of a hardline approach that would get a supplier like Foxconn to change.
Recent problems with Wintek touchpanels are creating ripple effects throughout the Taiwanese touchpanel industry, say industry sources contacted by Digitimes. Because of the trouble, Apple -- a key Wintek client -- is said to have have rearranged panel orders among other suppliers. The major beneficiary has allegedly been TPK, which saw revenue jump 53.7 percent month-over-month in September, or 139.7 percent year-over-year.
Apple's shipments of the iPhone 5 might have been slowed down by a defect surfacing in some touchscreens, a rumor maintained late Thursday. Wintek, which normally makes a significant portion of Apple's touch panels, has supposedly had a problem with 'delayed bubbles,' Digitimes said. While not serious given similarity to the iPhone 4 process, the issue can sometimes be found only during the final assembly process, at which point it's too late to fix the panel.
Apple has been operating irresponsibly in China, both in terms of labor and the environment, Foreign Policy suggests. A new report focuses on poisoning at a Wintek factory, where the Apple supplier began cleaning iPhone screens with an agent containing n-hexane. Exposure to the chemical triggered nerve damage in 137 workers, such as Jia Jingchuan, profiled by FP. Jia ended up hospitalized for 10 months starting in August 2009.
(Updated with alleged white iPod touch photo) New estimates by Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest Apple will bring white back to the iPod for the first time in years through the fifth-generation iPod touch. The design is rumored to be much like that of the iPad 2, where only the front gets the new color. Kuo told AppleInsider the design showed few signs of direct changes and would be in volume production in late August.