Foxconn hoping to make future iPhone screens, get more of the Apple pie

File photo of employees working inside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua

iPhone assembler Foxconn is apparently hoping to move beyond its relatively low-margin work into more profitable high-end component manufacturing in order to take a bigger slice of revenue from Apple, reports the WSJ.

Apple Inc.’s major assembler Foxconn is in preliminary discussions with a provincial government in northern China for an investment in a new factory that would make high-end screens for iPhones and other mobile devices, people familiar with the talks say.

Foxconn already manufactures some iPhone components, but currently only low-margin ones like metal casings and cables …  Read more

Samsung and LG unveil more smartwatches ahead of alleged iWatch/iBand debut next month

Just a few hours after yet another report emerged claiming that Apple would be taking the wraps off of its new wearable at an event next month, both LG and Samsung have announced new wearable devices tonight.

LG has officially unveiled the G Watch R this evening, which features a 1.3-inch Plastic OLED display that is a full 360 degrees, unlike the Moto 360, which has an area of dead space at the bottom of the display. Motorola claims that the reason for the dead space on its watch is for the ambient light sensor and other display drivers. It’s unclear how LG managed to avoid having a dead area with its circular watch.

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Hoping for a curved Apple Thunderbolt Display? Check out this LG 21:9 beauty

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I’ve never been greatly convinced that curved TV screens are anything but a passing novelty. Watching TV is a social experience, so optimizing the viewing angle for just one person seems odd. But a curved monitor makes much more sense to me, enabling more comfortable viewing from a fixed position at your desk – especially as monitors get larger.

LG has just announced that it will formally launch the 34UC97,  “the world’s first curved monitor with an extra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio,” at the IFA in Berlin next month. The 34-inch ultra-wide monitor offers a 3440×1440 resolution, and – appealingly for Mac users – supports Thunderbolt 2 …  Read more

New report corroborates rumors of LG iWatch display, multiple display sizes, late 2014 release

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According to a recent report from Korean publication Naver, LG is once again rumored to be the sole supplier of flexible displays for Apple’s upcoming iWatch. First discovered by GforGames, the report seems to back up a rumor from January suggesting that LG would be supplying a 1.52-inch plastic OLED display for Apple.

Naver also indicates that Apple will launch its iWatch in both 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch sizes, which corroborates previous rumors that the device will ship in different sizes for men and women. Naver goes on to report that Apple intends to sell up to 9 million iWatch units and plans to launch the device later this year.

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iPhone 6 displays could go into mass production next month, 5.5-inch model reportedly delayed

iPhone 6 concept iCulture Martin Hajek

Reuters is reporting that the displays for the next-generation iPhone could go into mass production as soon as May, with Japan Display, LG, and Sharp all said to be working on them. Previous reports indicated that the iPhone 6 would be available in two different sizes: 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. According to today’s new report, however, the larger model could see delays of several months due to manufacturing difficulties.

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 6 later this year.

The updated smartphone will run a new version of the company’s iconic iOS software that—as reported by 9to5Mac—will feature a new focus on health and fitness; better iCloud tools for developers; Preview and TextEdit companion applications; changes to Messages and Game Center; and improvements to the Maps application, including public transit directions and better 3D support.

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Google releases ‘Android Wear’ SDK developer preview, watches from LG, Moto & others due next quarter

silver_metal_600_00010Ahead of the release of Apple’s much rumored “iWatch” wearable product, Google has now officially announced Android’s entrance into wearables with project “Android Wear.” The Android Wear SDK allows developers to integrate a number of features into Android powered wearables and relies heavily on Google Now functionality, as we were first to report late last year.

Google also confirmed that it’s working with a handful of partners to bring Android Wear powered wearables to market by later this year: Read more

Sketchiest of Apple television rumors suggests 4K 55- & 65-inch screens next year at $1500-2500

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One of the many Apple Television concepts out there (image: theverge.com)

Among the less likely of the many rumors surrounding  Apple’s long-expected move into full televisions is one reported in Bloomberg today, suggesting that Apple will launch 55- and 65-inch 4K televisions in the final quarter of 2014 with pricing in the $1500 to $2500 range.

Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Advanced Research Japan Co, claims the displays will be made by LG, the GPUs by Samsung and the frameless glass cover made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3, with Foxconn assembling the products …  Read more

Report claims both likely & unlikely display changes for future Apple devices

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A report from Korea’s ETNews has outlined a series of claims pointing to dramatic shifts in display technologies for Apple devices. Over the next year, the report says that Apple is expected to redefine its screens for iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. Here are the reported display trends:

  • iPhones will move to screens larger than 5-inches
  • iPads will be diversified into entry-level and premium models depending on display size. This report reiterates claims of a 12.9/13-inch model
  • iPad mini will gain a higher-resolution display next year
  • OLED displays will be integrated into Apple products, including Apple’s upcoming “iWatch”
  • More power-efficient LED displays for MacBooks
  • Further, the report claims that Apple will continue to use displays from Japan Display, but the company will increase its reliance on both LG and Samsung for screens

Looking at each claim on its own, some make sense, while others do not. The iPhone has long been expected to adopt a larger display in 2014, but the exact screen-size has been unclear. Apple has been testing screen sizes between 4.7-inches and 6-inches, with a reliable analyst recently pointing to a screen size in between 4.5 and 5 inches

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AppleTV news: 4K panels being bought, friendly studio deals being negotiated & Netflix picks up two Emmy nods

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There are a few snippets of AppleTV related news popping up today. The first we take with the usual grain of salt as it comes to us from the often unreliable DigiTimes. The publication has been reporting some more believable stories as of late, but today’s rumor of Apple purchasing 55 and 65-inch Ultra HD TV panels from LG seems to be more rumor than anything else.

Apple has of course been rumored several times to be building a full fledged HDTV to go along with the much expected revamped AppleTV service coming in the the near future. The latest from the usual lineup of analysts points to a launch as early as the end of this year or early 2014. LG and Sharp– two of Apple’s regular display suppliers– would be obvious choices to source panels, but there’s no proof at this point that Apple is beyond the experimenting stage and we’ve heard rumors from more reliable sources ranging from 40-inch to 60-inch in the past.

Next up for today’s AppleTV news is a bit more insight into the company’s current negotiations with cable and media companies. We heard previously that Apple is working with TimeWarner to bring AppleTV integration in the coming weeks, but, according to the NYTimes, its recent hire of Hulu SVP Pete Distad will also come in handy as it negotiates with others for similar apps: Read more

‘Zact’ launches customizable, no-contract data plans on Sprint, coming to iOS soon

Earlier this month we told you that Verizon-backed ItsOn, a company building software for carriers that provides users with dynamic pricing plans on mobile devices, was planning on introducing a new mobile service that takes advantage of its software. Today ItsOn has officially announced Zact, a mobile service that provides flexible, adjustable data plans that allows users to pay for only what they use, customize voice, text, and data plans in real-time at any time, and share data on an unlimited amount of devices: Read more

Display production for next iPhone reportedly to kickoff next month, led by Sharp, LG, Japan Display

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According to a report from Nikkan, production of displays for Apple’s next iPhone will begin in June. The new screens will be sourced from Sharp, LG, and Japan Display, the same trio that have supplied screens for the iPhone 5.

Sharp also begin in June the mass production of the next model for the liquid crystal panel of the (multi-function mobile phone) smartphone that Apple is planning on. Appears to have embarked on production readiness of consecutive holidays from May Kameyama Plant No. 1 of Apple smartphones LCD dedicated plagued by sluggish occupancy rate since the beginning of the year in (Kameyama, Mie Prefecture).

Today’s report reasserts previous claims that the next revision to the iPhone will carry a design akin to that of the iPhone 5. Like past iPhone updates that do not include external hardware revisions, it is likely that the new iPhone will feature an improved camera and task processing systems...

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MacBook Pro with Retina display: Problems in every dimension

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When Apple unveiled its first Retina MacBook Pro with the 15.4-inch model in June, it came with an all-new, slimmed down design, all-flash architecture, and its flagship Retina display with over 5 million pixels. Apple has built its reputation on quality, craftsmanship, and customer/user experience, but that hasn’t been the case with its latest lineup of MacBooks. What many consumers don’t know is that buying a new Retina MacBook means taking your chances with possibly receiving a unit that is subject to display defects, battery, graphics, and fan-related issues among other major stability problems. These widespread issues have received limited coverage in the press and many consumers claim Apple is failing to sufficiently address the problems by not informing consumers and employees.

Leading the reports of problems is one that causes burn-in or ghosting on the device’s display. The result is a support thread with over 364,769 views and, most recently, a class-action lawsuit in California that alleged Apple is failing to inform consumers of the issue. Users experiencing the problem eventually realized the source of the issue was with LG, one of Apple’s display suppliers for the new Retina MacBooks. Unfortunately, models with Samsung displays aren’t totally free from a myriad of other significant issues.

Apple described the image-retention problems on this user’s display as normal after two visits. The display was eventually replaced with a Samsung but continues to experience other display related problems. 

Problems at the Apple Store

Finally, after 4 LG screened rMBPs I give up!

The problems are severe enough that it’s affecting the buying experience for consumers, driving customers to opt for other devices, and forced me personally to stop recommending the machine. Not only is Apple not addressing the issues publicly, Apple retail employees and 9to5Mac readers confirmed Apple is failing to properly inform retail and repair staff of the problems… Read more