China Times Stories April 8, 2014

Rumor: Apple planning to release iWatch in August-September timeframe

 

You can’t get much sketchier than a Chinese Economic Daily report cited by DigiTimes, but the former is citing supply chain sources in claiming that Apple plans to release the iWatch in the third quarter of this year, and that the company expects to ship 65M units this year.

The iWatch will be manufactured by Quanta Computer, while Taiwan-based chip design house Richtek has also entered the supply chain. The device’s touch panel will be supplied by TPK, the paper noted. [With Samsung making the processor to Apple’s design.]

The original story says that suppliers have been asked to meet an August delivery date.

The China Times has previously suggested that TPK would make the touch panel, but this isn’t a particularly notable consistency: the company has in the past been a key panel supplier to Apple, while Quanta is a long-time Mac assembler, mostly in Asia but more recently in the USA also.

Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis, quoted in AppleInsider, is suggesting that the iWatch may include a UV sensor, measuring exposure to sunlight. While Curtis believes that the purpose of the rumored sensor is to prevent excessive exposure to sunlight, it’s possible that for some of us it might be more usefully employed to do the opposite

China Times Stories February 19, 2014

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 …  expand full story

China Times Stories March 8, 2013

The ‘Apple to use Qualcomm CPUs in low cost iPhone’ rumor circles around the globe

In January, anonymous U.S. analysts at Detwiler Fenton postulated that Apple could save a few bucks on a low-cost iPhone by using a Qualcomm Snapdragon integrated processors that place the CPU and wireless processors on the same die.

“It is likely that the work with QCOM is being driven by AAPL’s concern regarding maintaining gross margins as well as the need to differentiate the product by performance,” the research firm (which shuns putting the spotlight on particular analysts) said in a research note. “AAPL would not want a value priced iPhone to offer the same kind of graphics and video support, processing power etc. that its premium priced device would, therefore a less powerful lower-end Snapdragon integrated solution would help segment the product.”

At the time, the idea of Apple using Qualcomm processors and not its own perhaps older-model processors seemed preposterous. Sure, Apple uses Qualcomm 4G radio chips extensively, but its own processors now power the ‘free with a plan iPhone 4’ and the prospect of reworking the OS to work with a new off-the-shelf Qualcomm processor instead of in-house solutions still seems extremely unlikely.

The rumor seemed to have died, but the ‘iPhone Math’ translation experts at the China Times republished it. The rumor was then picked up by Macotakara in Japan, and is now back stateside, but it is no more likely this time around.

In fact, the original analysts —with the statement  “AAPL would not want a value priced iPhone to offer the same kind of graphics and video support, processing power etc. that its premium priced device would, therefore a less powerful lower-end Snapdragon integrated solution would help segment the product”— seemed to have no knowledge of Apple’s wide range of A4, A5, and A6 processors or wide range of iPhones in which those processors currently reside.

China Times Stories January 22, 2013

Digitimes refutes its own larger iPhone rumor, now agrees with WSJ/Bloomberg

Digitimes reported today that Apple is working to release two new iPhones in 2013 with 4-inch displays, going against its earlier report that claimed Apple would release a new low-cost, 5-inch iPhone with a new design. Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal also reported Apple is working on a less-expensive iPhone to début sometime in 2013. Today, Digitimes continued to claim Apple has an iPhone with a larger display in development, but it said the smartphone would not launch this year:

Previously it was [WE] said that Apple would release a lower-cost version of its iPhone with a bigger screen in 2013. But the sources claimed that Apple is indeed developing an iPhone with a bigger screen, but that will not be among the models to be lancuhed this year.

That’s Digitimes-speak for “oops, that cheaper/bigger device was an HTC phone, not the iPhone” or “please just forget what we said there.”

Rumors of two 4-inch iPhones launching in 2013—a new 5S and a new low-cost iPhone— is something we’ve heard before, but a second conflicting report from Digitimes claimed Apple would release a low-cost iPhone with a larger, 5-inch display and an all-new design. Other sketchy reports of Apple possibly releasing an iPhone with a 4.8-inch display surfaced this week but didn’t exactly add up. Now it seems Digitimes is agreeing with the Wall Street Journal that two 4-inch devices will launch in 2013 with one being a new low-cost model. The report also said one of the devices will target the “midrange” market:

One of the two versions to be introduced this year will target the midrange market segment, but both will adopt in-cell touch technology…However, the sources noted it is still yet to be determined if Apple will have adequate supply of in-cell touch panels in 2013 for a lower-cost version of the iPhone due to mass production issues from the technology in 2012. The iPhone 5 took a hit in sales during 2012 as a result of poor yields for in-cell technology, but the sources are now saying those yields are improving.

That “midrange” phone is probably the current iPhone 5.

China Times Stories June 20, 2012

According to several local reports, Foxconn’s Terry Gou made some pretty bold statements at Hon Hai Precision’s annual meeting of shareholders on Monday. While there are a few translations, all seem to claim Gou urged customers to wait for the iPhone 5, “saying that the new model will put Samsung’s Galaxy III to shame.” A report from Focus Taiwan quoted China Times:

Gou said he has made it a lifetime goal to defeat Samsung — “a company with a track record of snitching on its competitors.”… He was referring to Samsung’s action in 2010 of snitching on four Taiwanese companies in an investigation by the European Commission on price-fixing in the flat panel industry…Samsung was exempted from the investigation by serving as a “tainted witness.” … Gou also urged consumers to wait for the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5, saying that the new model will put Samsung’s Galaxy III to shame.

Gou also apparently claimed that Foxconn’s Sakai plant “has an exclusive agreement with Corning Inc., an American manufacturer of glass, on large panel supply,” and his “competitors will not be able to secure any such material if they wished to.” We are going to wait to see if Foxconn issues a statement regarding these quotes, because we know a couple of stories in recent months misquoted Gou… expand full story

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