Apple’s highly anticipated iPad 3 will reportedly be in short supply until some time in the second quarter according to a new report. Industry watcher DigiTimes on Thursday cited anonymous sources within Apple’s supply chain in claiming that the high-resolution 2,048 x 1,536-pixel display panels being supplied to Apple by Sharp may be in short supply. Initial shipments are expected to be limited as a result, and production supposedly won’t be ramped up until some time in the second quarter. Apple will unveil its next-generation iPad 3 at a press conference on March 7th and the tablet is expected to become available soon after. Reports suggest the iPad 3 will feature a high-resolution 9.7-inch display, a quad-core Apple A6 processor, embedded 4G LTE and a slightly redesigned aluminum case. More →
Foxconn workers claim the manufacturer transferred underage employees to other departments or did not schedule them to work overtime in an effort to avoid discovery during the Fair Labor Association’s investigation of its facilities, reports AppleInsider. Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) project officer Debby Sze Wan Chan was told by two Foxconn employees that the manufacturer “prepared for the inspection” by hiding the child laborers. “All underage workers, between 16-17 years old, were not assigned any overtime work and some of them were even sent to other departments,” Chan reportedly said. Another Foxconn worker said she had recently been allowed three breaks a day during the audit, an increase from one. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the company “cares about every worker in our supply chain,” however many workers don’t feel the care that the CEO talks about. “Most of the time, the workers are aware of the presence of Apple’s representatives inside the factories,” said Chan. “It is not the problem that Apple doesn’t know the real problems at their suppliers. They know, but it is only because they do not care.” More →
Leaked iPad 3 parts suggest larger battery, 4G LTE, and Retina Display in same form factor as iPad 2
The next-generation iPad will feature a larger battery and a new camera, according to RepairLabs. The website obtained what it claims to be the rear shell of the upcoming iPad 3 from an industry insider in China. After examining the shell and comparing it to an iPad 2 case, RepairLabs noticed the mounts for the logic board were quite different, meaning the board itself will likely be a different shape. The rear case also apparently reveals that the iPad 3 will include a larger battery pack, in line with earlier rumors. The device is also expected to have a “different camera” as well, and the site suggests the front display will also be new. There has been speculation that the next-generation iPad would be slightly thicker, but the site claims that could be false after examining the rear case. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad 3 next month. More →
Following what Amazon reported to have been a huge holiday season for the company’s debut tablet, demand for the Kindle Fire has slowed according to new claims. Citing unnamed sources from within Amazon’s component supply chain, DigiTimes on Friday stated that Amazon’s tablet orders with original device manufacturers have been cut in half from roughly 6 million tablets in the fourth quarter last year to 3 million units this quarter. The Kindle Fire had a hot holiday season so a drop-off in orders is expected in the quarter that follows, though it is unclear if a 50% decrease in device orders is industry standard. What is clear, however, is that Amazon — one of the largest electronics retailers in the country — is still selling plenty of Kindle Fires. We reviewed the Kindle Fire in November and called it a clear winner that would top Amazon’s best-selling electronics list for quite some time. Now, more than two months after being released on November 15th last year, the $199 Kindle Fire tablet still holds the No.1 spot on Amazon’s best-sellers list.
Demand for Apple’s latest smartphone is still outpacing supply, causing customers to wait three weeks or more to purchase the new phone. Apple launched the iPhone 4S more than a month ago, and the handset shattered opening-weekend sales records. BGR reported more than two weeks ago that strong demand for the handset was resulting in stock-outs around the country, and now Dow Jones Newswires reports that supply is not yet able to keep up with the mass of would-be iPhone owners waiting impatiently for their devices to arrive. Read on for more. More →
Samsung will provide Apple with quad-core A6 chips to power the next iPhone, The Korea Times reported on Monday. “Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor chips to be used in the next iPhone,” an anonymous parts supplier executive told The Korea Times. “It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner.” The two have been locked in legal battles around the globe, and both firms have accused the other of patent infringement. Samsung’s vice chairman and CEO Gee-Sung Choi said his company’s legal battles will be handled separately from its business partnership with the iPhone maker. Reportedly, the next iPhone may also be equipped with a 4-inch 960 x 640-pixel OLED display. More →
Foxconn and Quanta Computer, two companies that manufacture Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad, have suggested that there will be “minimal” impact on supply orders following news that Steve Jobs will no longer serve as Apple’s CEO. Reportedly, Tim Cook, who has replaced Jobs as CEO, was already working closely with the manufacturing process while Steve Jobs was out on leave. DigiTimes said that the move could affect Apple’s global brand recognition and the company’s innovation and creativity, although it will certainly take some time to see just how true those claims are. On Thursday, a number of analysts speculated that Jobs’s departure could benefit Apple’s iPhone and iPad competitors. More →
It took 145 days, but Apple’s supply of iPad 2 tablets has finally caught up with demand. Purchases made from the online Apple Store will now ship within 24 hours of being placed, and the new fulfillment time applies to all six variants of the iPad 2. Since the tablet launched in the middle of March, Apple’s iPad 2 instantly became the world’s most sought after tablet. Inventory at brick and mortar Apple Stores, retail partners and at Apple’s online store depleted as fast as Apple could replenish it, and order fulfillment quotes grew as long as a month. Now, four and a half months later, fulfillment quotes have dropped to 24 hours for the first time since the iPad 2 became available on March 11th. In-store supply is still short at some heavily trafficked Apple Store locations according to reports, but most Apple Stores now have units in stock regularly, as do third-party retailers. Of course if rumors are accurate, we’re now just a few months away from seeing a new iPad launch, so enjoy those 24-hour shipping quotes while you can. More →
Global supplies of Apple’s MacBook Air laptops are dwindling as the consumer electronics giant prepares to refresh the line, 9to5 Mac reports. The Apple enthusiast blog cites multiple sources in stating that shipments of the Air are currently constrained, and the site also points out that remaining MacBook Air inventory is now on sale at several retailers. Apple’s online store is currently offering refurbished models at an all-time low price of $829, and Best buy has brand new models on sale starting at $938.99 for the 11-inch version. Earlier rumors suggest Apple plans to issue an incremental update to its MacBook Air line later this summer, likely featuring Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports. More →
DigiTimes is reporting that sources at upstream component makers have said Apple’s popular iPhone 4 and iPad 2 products could be facing a shortage of materials as well as labor at Foxconn plants in China for the second quarter.
Commenting on the rumor, Foxconn only emphasized that the company’s capacity is being arranged fully at the request of its clients and the company will do all it can to satisfy its clients’ needs; however, the company declined to comment whether the labor shortages will cause delays in shipments. Foxconn emphasized that it has experience arranging manpower to assist its clients in reaching their goals.
Apple has been pushing its component suppliers and manufacturers to increase production to between 2.5 and 3 million iPad 2 units per month, though it’s being reported that in addition to Foxconn labor issues, supplies shortages from Japan are still seriously impacting Apple. It looks like Apple really was right when it said it was manufacturing iPad 2s as fast as it could. More →
According to 9to5 Mac, supplies for all four of Apple’s current iMac models are low in multiple countries — including in the United States and in an unnamed Asian country. The low supply counts suggest that Apple is poised to announce a refresh of its iMac line of computers in the very near future — which it last did on July 27, 2010 when it updated the family with Intel’s new Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors. Apple’s suppliers are reportedly low on hard drives and graphics processors, specifically, although Apple is not the only computer manufacturer to sell devices equipped with ATI Radeon HD 4670 or Radeon HD 5670 graphics cards. Apple may introduce a new family of iMacs later this month or in early May. Rumor has it that the new family of all-in-one desktops will pack Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and the new Thunderbolt I/O port, which made its debut during the Macbook Pro refresh. More →
Strong demand for Apple’s iPad 2 tablet has reportedly lead the Cupertino-based company to add a third touch panel manufacturer to its supply chain. Bloomberg has confirmed the deal with two anonymous sources who claim that Foxconn affiliate Chimei Innolux will begin supplying touchscreen displays for Apple’s iPad 2 beginning next month. The Taiwan-based manufacturer will join Apple’s current iPad 2 touch panel suppliers, Wintek and TPK Holding, which apparently have not been able to combine to meet the unrelenting demand for Apple’s latest tablet. Apple declined to comment on the deal, as did Wintek, TPK Holding and Chimei Innolux. More →
As the iPad 2 continues to float in and out of stock at Apple Stores and third-party retailer locations across the country, retailers are also running low on stock of the original iPad. Now discounted by as much as $300, Apple’s original iPad models became available at reduced prices when the new iPad 2 was released. Apple’s online store has now completely run out of the 16GB Wi-Fi model of the original iPad and stock of other models, including refurbished models, is believed to be extremely low. Retail partners that had remaining inventory when the new models launched are also beginning to sell out — AT&T, for example, has sold out of both the 16GB and 32GB version of the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, with only the 64GB version remaining. Users interested in Apple’s iOS tablets who are willing to forgo the new design, the speed boost and the low-resolution cameras likely don’t have much time left to save up to $300 compared to newer iPad 2 models.