Tag - Manufacturing
Bringing production of iPhones to the United States could theoretically increase the cost by up to $100 per device, according to a report. Calculations made concerning the manufacturing of components, the opening of factories and the shifting of labor away from existing operations in China and other countries back to the United States would heavily impact the iPhone's construction cost, and would be highly uncompetitive compared to current manufacturing processes.
For the first time, Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron has opened up its factory campus to a press tour, showing off its automated hours-tracking system and efforts to curb overtime, as well as revealing a largely modern facility keeping up with features and facilities on par with current Foxconn factories. The large campus has a "work floor" that holds some 50,000 workers, and workers can track their own hours, payroll, income, an expenses -- while the system works to prevent excessive overtime, reports Bloomberg
In a recent federal 10-K filing with the FTC, Intel has revealed that its next chip series will comprise a three-stage pipeline of development, breaking for the first time the familiar "tick-tock" cycle that took existing processors designs and migrated them to new manufacturing processes. This change is the result of a predictable flaw in "Moore's Law," which said originally in 1965 that the number of integrated circuits on a chip would double every year, but was revised ten years later to predict the double occurring roughly every two years -- a prediction that has held true ever since.
Apple may be dropping Samsung as one of its processor manufacturers for the next version of the iPhone, according to a report. Rather than split the manufacturing of the "A10" chips between two semiconductor fabricators, a South Korean newspaper claims Apple will not be using Samsung, with TSMC apparently becoming the sole company responsible for producing the processor destined for use in Apple's future smartphone.
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 TSMC 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.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE