Tag - Manufacturing
Last month, Apple registered three car-related domain names -- apple.car, apple.cars, and apple.auto -- using the MarkMonitor registrar and fueling further speculation on the plans and timetable for a rumored foray into either advanced car augmentation or outright car manufacturing. While there is little firm evidence that Apple actually plans to make a car -- numerous regulatory and federal filings would be required, which the company doesn't appear to have done -- it seems likely that it is researching, and possibly working with a secret partner, on more advanced car technology beyond the existing CarPlay option.
TSMC is planning to construct a new processor manufacturing facility in China, one that is estimated to be worth around $3 billion to construct. At the same time, rumors are circulating that Apple may end up having a considerable order from Apple in the near future, with a report suggesting Apple may simply hand complete control of its processor manufacturing over to TSMC, starting from the A10 processor expected to ship next year in a future iPhone.
Former Apple manufacturing partner and sapphire crystal furnace manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies may soon be able to emerge from bankruptcy, following the filing of a new plan with the court that would see $60 million in new debt and $20 million in preferred stock put up by lenders early next year -- however, the plan does not include any compensation for shareholders or other investors. Under the proposal, ownership of the company would be transferred to creditors, which may still include Apple.
Following a meeting with the President of China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has also met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as we reported previously. According to a report in the Times of India, the two discussed the possibility of Apple setting up manufacturing facilities in the country, as well as how Apple Pay might be implemented there. Cook is said to have "responded positively" to both proposals, which could open the door to official Apple Stores in the country.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will meet with the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, when Modi is visiting the US west coast in late September. The Indian PM may be meeting with Cook to help persuade Apple to invest in building or investing in manufacturing or R&D facilities in the country, which has a large and capable pool of tech workers and is an important developing market for the iPhone maker. Cook, for his part, may also be interested in bringing directly-owned Apple Stores to the country for the first time.
According to a lawyer for Monster, currently embroiled in a lawsuit against Beats Electronics that started due to Apple's takeover of the headphone and accessories maker, Apple has suspended Monster's ability to make "Made For i" (MFi) accessories -- a move that will affect nearly a quarter of Monster's 4,000 products. Monster counsel David Tognotti said that Apple's chief litigation lawyer said that Monster's lawsuit had "destroyed the working relationship" between the two companies.
Numerous reports appear to confirm that Samsung will return to a larger role in helping Apple manufacture its next-generation A9 chip, which will be used in future iOS devices. Apple primarily uses Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for its A8 chips seen in the iPhone 6 and current iPad lines, but still used Samsung for manufacturing the chips to some extent due to demand. Sources say Samsung has beaten TSMC to a 14-nanometer process, giving it the edge.
IBM is getting out of the chip manufacturing, with the company transferring the bulk of its semiconductor business to GlobalFoundries. However, rather than IBM receiving a large cash influx from selling the chip division, the company is paying GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion over three years, in cash and capital, to take the commercial semiconductor business.
According to reports out of China, Apple has begun to dominate the supply chain both in shipping and manufacturing, squeezing out other companies. According to reports, major supply chain shipping companies including both FedEx and UPS have "incredibly high" volumes for the holiday quarter, just from Apple's logistics under the weight of a new product lineup.
Photos and reports from tipsters indicate that Apple's forthcoming sapphire manufacturing plant may already be partially online as construction crews race to finish the building for a targeted June completion date. The building, which is very nondescript in appearance, is located in Mesa, Arizona and was built in a partnership with GT Advanced Technologies, the inventors of a process to manufacture nearly scratch-proof sapphire glass in larger quantities and at lower cost than had previously been available.