Apple has reportedly cut its fourth-quarter iPad orders to China-based manufacturing partners by 25%, JP Morgan analysts Mark Moskowitz and Gokul Hariharan wrote in a research note on Sunday. According to Bloomberg, JP Morgan expects Hon Hai’s iPad 2 production to drop from 17 million units to 13 million units in the fourth quarter as a result of the cut, though Moskowitz did not adjust his earlier iPad shipment projections of 10.9 million units and 12 million units in the third and fourth calendar quarters as a result. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion is reportedly slowing production of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet following its second-quarter earnings report, during which the vendor stated that only 200,000 PlayBooks were sold into sales channels in the quarter. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie confirmed on the company’s earning call that the PlayBook would begin to see price reductions, and the beginnings of RIM’s effort to push PlayBooks off store shelves can likely be seen in an employee-only sale at Rogers. According to a new report, however, RIM isn’t overly optimistic that its efforts with the PlayBook will pay off. Read on for more. More →
Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has reportedly ramped up iPhone 5 production as the next-generation smartphone finally approaches launch next month. Citing anonymous industry sources, DigiTimes on Thursday reports that production of Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone has reached 150,000 units per day. An earlier report stated that Foxconn will be responsible for approximately 85% of iPhone 5 production while Pegatron will handle the remaining 15% of production, though DigiTimes now reports that Pegatron will not begin building iPhone 5 handsets until next year. According to the site’s sources, Foxconn will ship between 5 million and 6 million iPhone 5 handsets this month, and fourth-quarter shipments are expected to surpass 22 million units. It is estimated that Apple will ship between 86.4 million and 95 million iPhone smartphones this year, making Apple the top global smartphone vendor by shipment volume. More →
Apple’s manufacturing partners have reportedly begun assembling the iPhone 5 according to a new report from Macotakara, which has a mixed track record. The report follows news from this morning that German Apple carrier partner Deutsche Telekom has already begun pre-sales of the next-generation Apple smartphone. Foxconn, which will supposedly handle roughly 85% of iPhone 5 production, and Pegatron, which has picked up a contract for the remaining 15%, are said to have ramped up assembly ahead of Apple’s official announcement of the device, which is expected as soon as next week. Citing information from an anonymous source, the report also notes that finished devices are not yet being packaged, as the release build of iOS 5 has not yet been finalized. More →
Samsung has reportedly started to build a new high resolution version of its 7-inch Super AMOLED prototype displays. According to the Korean website etnews, Samsung is upping the resolution to 1024 x 768 pixels and will begin production of the new displays “soon.” Additionally, the sequel to the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab could land in North America as soon as this September, when it is largely expected that Apple will take the wraps off of its new iPad and iPhone products. We are definitely excited about redesigned Galaxy Tab with a Super AMOLED screen, we just hope Samsung packs it with Android Gingerbread this time around. Thankfully it sounds like we won’t have that long to wait until we find out. More →
Pegatron has been awarded a new contract to build Apple’s next-generation iPad tablets, Taiwan Economic News reports. According to the report, Pegatron underbid Hon Hai for a new contract to manufacture the iPad 3, which will become available some time near the Thanksgiving holiday according to an earlier report. Hon Hai, owner of infamous Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn, manufactures Apple’s current-generation iPad 2 tablet along with a number of other Apple products. Pegatron is seemingly working hard to increase its production share of Apple devices, however; the Taiwan-based manufacturer reportedly also won an order from Apple to manufacture a total of 15 million iPhone 5 handsets. While Apple is shaking up its manufacturing partners according to the report, it will reportedly retain the majority of its component suppliers including TPK Holdings (touch panels), Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology (batteries), Largan Precision (camera lenses) and Foxconn Technology (outer casings).
Updated to reflect changes in source report.
Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo and HP will begin to mass produce Intel-powered ultrabooks in September, on schedule for a second-half launch, DigiTimes reported on Tuesday. ASUS’ UX21 ultrabook will be the first such device to market, despite reports to the contrary that HP would release its device before ASUS. Instead, HP’s ultrabook may not launch until the fourth quarter or early next year, a far cry from the original rumored August launch date. Models from Acer and Dell could be late to the market, too, due to slower than expected panel production. Intel introduced its ultrabook roadmap in May and hopes the devices, which will be powered by the company’s latest Core processors and 22nm Ivy Bridge processor, will dominate 40% of the consumer market by the end of 2012. More →
Apple may have just hit Samsung where it hurts as the two companies continue their ongoing legal battles over patents. Apple, said to be the largest buyer of Samsung components, will not use Samsung to build its next-generation A6 processor, Reuters reports. Instead, Taiwan-based TSMC has reportedly been contracted to build the chip, which is expected to power Apple’s future iPhone and iPad devices. TSMC, the world’s largest contract microchip manufacturer, is said to have already begun test production of Apple’s A6 processor. Samsung currently builds the A5 processor used in Apple’s popular iPad 2 tablet and it owns numerous patents surrounding the chip’s design, including a patent that covers the processor’s the system design and memory packaging. The A5 chip is also expected to be included in Apple’s iPhone 5, which is expected to launch later this year. Should TSMC in fact be manufacturing Apple’s next-generation mobile CPU, it will likely feature a significant redesign in order to avoid potential patent complaints from Samsung. More →
Apple’s manufacturing partners are slated to build 5 million iPad 2 units in July alone, DigiTimes reports. The new claim follows an earlier report stating Apple will ship between 12 million and 14 million iPad 2 tablets in the third quarter of 2011, doubling the Cupertino-based technology giant’s second-quarter shipment volume. DigiTimes claims Cando, Sintek Photronic, Chimei Innolux, TPK Holding and Wintek will combine to supply 5 million touch sensors this month, matching the volume they reportedly filled in June. Apple’s iPad 2 remins one of the best-selling consumer electronics devices on the market, and Apple may launch an updated version of the tablet later this year according to rumors. More →
Sony’s manufacturing partners will begin building the consumer electronics giant’s next-generation video game console toward the end of this year, with a launch scheduled for 2012, DigiTimes reports. Details surrounding Sony’s PlayStation 4 are very limited for the time being, but the report states that the new console will feature integrated movement-based controls similar to the Microsoft Kinect controller. Foxconn and Pegatron, the two manufacturing firms charged with assembling Sony’s PlayStation 3, will build the new console according to DigiTimes’ sources. 2012 shipment volume for the PS4 is said to be at least 20 million units. Sony’s PlayStation 4 was not expected to launch until 2013 or 2014, but with Nintendo’s Wii U launching next year and Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox due to be unveiled in 2012 as well, it is possible that Sony accelerated the new console’s development in order to remain competitive. Sony’s current PlayStation 3 console has sold more than 51 million units globally since its launch in November 2006. More →
Taiwan-based component suppliers are beginning to prepare materials that will be assembled to build Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 and iPad 3 devices, DigiTimes reports. The report goes on to state that Apple will unveil its fifth-generation smartphone and third-generation tablet in September ahead of launches in October. Details on the devices were scarce in the report, though it was mentioned that Apple’s next iPad may be even thinner and lighter than the current iPad 2 model, and it may also include a 250dpi display. DigiTimes cites anonymous industry sources in claiming that Apple intends to begin low-volume production of the iPhone 5 in August, and production will then ramp up in September. IPhone supply volume is expected to total 24-25 million units in the third quarter, 6-7 million of which will be the new iPhone 5 model. Total iPhone volume for 2011 is expected to reach 85 million, and DigiTimes says iPad volume may break the 40 million-unit mark. More →
In a note to investors on Thursday, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White raised his earlier projection for iPhone shipments in the June quarter. Following discussions with contacts in Taipei, White believes stable demand bolstered by the launch of the white iPhone 4 will now drive flat quarter-over-quarter iPhone shipments. The analyst had previously estimated that shipments would be down 15% compared to the second quarter. With the launch of Apple’s next-generation iPhone seemingly pushed back from June/July time frame, White says he is not seeing the typical pause in demand that has historically occurred in the June quarter. On the launch of Apple’s next iPhone, Ticonderoga is “picking up data points that suggest initial production at certain iPhone component suppliers will begin in July with volume production planned in August for the next-generation iPhone, supporting our view of a September launch.”
According to a new report from IHS iSuppli on Tuesday, the recent explosion at a Foxconn factory could result in iPad 2 production losses for Apple. Despite reassurances from the manufacturer that production will not be affected — most iPad 2 units are built at Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant, which was not the site of the explosion — IHS iSuppli believes that “[Foxconn's] view is dependent on a return to full production pending the results of an investigation.” If there’ are any delays, however, iSuppli argues that the explosion could cost Apple as many as 500,000 iPad 2 units. “The impact of this disaster will only last for the short term, given that there are more than 10 factories in the Foxconn Chengdu plant, and because the explosion occurred on the third floor of one of the buildings,” IHS iSuppli said. More →