‘The iPhone 6 Effect’ helping boost Asian economies by as much as 8.6 percent, say analysts

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Component orders by Apple for the iPhone 6 are a significant factor in the current thriving state of a number of Asian economies, say analysts and government officials cited by the WSJ.

Analysts expect companies from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea that supplied earlier versions of the iPhone to produce key components like displays, camera lenses and microprocessors. Already, some of those companies are announcing increased earnings or forecasts, and economists and analysts are talking about an Apple effect on whole sectors and economies …

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Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for apps coming soon to 16 new countries

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Apple is about to roll out its Volume Purchase Program, which allows business and education customers to purchase and distribute iOS apps in bulk for deployed devices, into 16 new countries. Apple’s website for both the Volume Purchase Program for Business and for Education have been updated to announce the expansion and now list the following countries as coming soon to the program: Read more

Foxconn gives a shoutout to Apple products after profits climb 13 percent

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Apple’s lead manufacturer Foxconn reported a 13 percent rise in net profit to 106.7B new Taiwan dollars (US$3.5B) following record iPhone and iPad sales, reports the WSJ. More than 40 percent of the company’s revenue comes from Apple.

The news comes a few days after Apple supplier Pegatron reported a 22 percent rise in earnings.

Hon Hai’s results were underpinned by demand from Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, which sold 51 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 28, 2013—up 7% from the same period the previous year [...]

Apple also said it sold a record 26 million iPads in the quarter, compared with 22.9 million in the year-ago period …

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RIP Mac optical drives? Rumor suggests Apple to drop last non-Retina MacBook Pro this year

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DigiTimes is claiming that Apple will cease production of the non-Retina version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro this year as it prepares to launch refreshed Retina models toward the end of the year.

Apple is expected to stop production of the 13-inch MacBook Pro in the second half of 2014 and will replace the product line with thinner models equipped with a Retina display. Meanwhile, Intel will offer second-generation ultrabooks in the fourth quarter of 2014, pushing the notebook industry further into the ultra-thin era, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers …  Read more

Sketchy rumor suggests iWatch will have a curved, flexible display; mass production 2nd half of 2014

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An unconfirmed report in China Times claims that Taiwan-based touch panel manufacturer TPK will be making flexible displays for the iWatch, with mass production expected in the second half of the year.

The report said the iWatch will come equipped with a flexible AMOLED display and 3D protective glass. The rumors also speculated that the iWatch will use silver nanowire touch screen technology developed by TPK in conjunction with Japan-based Nissha Printing.

Both the flexible AMOLED and silver nanowire suggest a curved display, but it should be noted that the China Times does not have the best of track records …  Read more

Taiwanese report reiterates 4.7 inch and 5.6 inch iPhones incoming, claims larger model will not use iPhone branding

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A report published in Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, via Mac Otakara, reiterates the flurry of previous reporting that Apple will release two new iPhones this year with larger displays, around 4.7 and 5.6 inches respectively. This has been reported countless times in the past by multiple sources. It also says that Apple is targeting a release in the third-quarter, again unsurprising at this point.

However, the report goes onto say that only the larger of these two phones will feature sapphire-glass. According to this sketchy report, the 4.7 inch model will continue to use Corning’s Gorilla Glass like the current iPhone 5s and 5c.

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