The New York Times recently published an article discussing the unsafe working conditions in the factories Apple employs to build its products. It’s no secret that several factories belonging to Apple’s ODM partners have harsh working conditions; there are rumors of anti-suicide pledges that Foxconn workers have to sign, and safety is obviously a concern following multiple preventable explosions at Foxconn plants. While much has reportedly been done to improve working conditions at these plants, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently assured his employees that the Cupertino-based company does care about the workers in each of those factories. Read on for more. More →
Apple recently had a meeting with Chinese environmental groups during which it admitted that 15 of the plants it uses in its supply chain violate China’s environmental regulations. The Cupertino-based company has typically ignored any accusations that its plants are over polluting. Apple reportedly made the admission during a three-hour discussion with the EnviroFriends Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Friends of Nature and the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. Read on for more. More →
Sony reported its fiscal first quarter results on Thursday and recorded a net loss of 15.5 billion Yen ($198.7 million). The company attributed the loss to the earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan in March, as well as a “stagnate” economy in the United States and Europe. Sony’s operating profits were 27.5 billion Yen ($330 million), down from the 67.02 billion Yen ($862) it reported during the same quarter last year. Operating revenue was 1.49 trillion Yen ($19.1 billion), down 10% from the 1.66 trillion ($21.3 billion) in revenue Sony reported in the first fiscal quarter of 2011. “We think we can be profitable at the current exchange rate levels,” Sony’s chief financial officer Masaru Kato said during a recent news conference. “We had almost no negative impact from the dollar, but the euro is still an issue for us.” Kato said that “TVs are one of the only remaining issues,” for the company and noted that Sony expects to sell 22 million televisions this year, down from the original projection of 27 million units. Kato said Sony’s supply chain was hit hard by the earthquake and impacted the company’s sales during the first quarter but that the supply channels have already bounced back.
Apple plans to ship more than 8 million MacBook Air computers in the third quarter of 2011, DigiTimes claims in a new report on Friday. The number represents more than twice the total number of Mac computers Apple shipped during its fiscal second quarter. DigiTimes‘ report cites sources within Apple’s supply chain in stating that combined MacBook production was ramped up to 2.2-2.4 million units in June, and Apple is expected to yield 2.7-2.8 million units in July. The Cupertino-based company is expected to release refreshed MacBook Air models ahead of the release of its new Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, and the notebooks should feature Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports. The anticipated spec boost is expected to cause a surge in MacBook Air sales, but a target of 8 million units in a single quarter doesn’t seem terribly realistic; Apple shipped a total of 3.76 million Mac units in its March quarter, including its MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac and Mac Pro lines. Unless Apple also plans to announce a drastic price reduction when it unveils its new MacBook Air PCs in the coming weeks, we don’t see the company coming anywhere close to shipping 8 million units next quarter. More →
Reuters is reporting that Apple, Inc. will ship its next generation iPhone — oft referred to as the iPhone 5 — this September. The publication cites three sources “with direct knowledge of the company’s supply chain” and adds that the updated iPhone will sport a “faster processor.” Reuters writes that Largan Precision Co Ltd will be responsible for the new device’s camera sensor, Wintek Corp for its touchscreen panel, and Foxconn Technology Co Ltd for case production. “The companies would begin production either in July or August before shipping components to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, flagship of Foxconn Technology Group, for assembly,” the site’s sources state. Analysts and pundits have been utilizing supply-chain checks to try and determine when Apple’s next smartphone will hit store shelves. September of 2011 and January of 2012 have been the two most popular prognostications. The September timeline has been touted by RBC, Avian Securities and Concord Securities in subsequent, independent reports. More →
Sony Ericsson released a statement on Friday delaying the broader launch of the Xperia Neo until the third quarter due to supply chain disruptions caused by the earthquake in Japan. The firm said that volumes of its Xperia arc and Xperia PLAY were also affected, but it doesn’t appear that there are any delays with those launches. Sony Ericsson’s official statement is as follows:
As Sony Ericsson continues to assess the impact of the situation in Japan on its business, we have communicated to our operator customers and distributors that some volume of Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY and Xperia neo phones has been affected. Xperia neo has already been introduced to the marketplace in limited quantities. However, due to supply chain disruptions resulting from the situation in Japan, we have shifted the timing of Xperianeo’s broader launch and it is now planned for early Q3.
We will address this topic at the time of our Q1 financial results announcement call that is scheduled for April 19, 2011.
Sony Ericsson’s Italian Facebook page has a similar explanation, and confirms that the Neo will launch in July. More →