DigiTimes Stories August 5, 2014

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Samsung has been having some issues lately, reporting falling profits in the most recent quarter. Although most of this is due to shrinking growth in phone sales, where Apple continues to dominate in terms of profit share, Apple has also affected Samsung’s income from its microprocessor production business. With TSMC having exclusivity over Apple’s A8 production, to be used in the upcoming iPhone 6, Samsung’s outlook for ‘logic chips’ is also gloomy, as The Wall Street Journal highlights in a new report.

Samsung executives admitted on a recent conference call that the outlook isn’t so bright for this business.

“Sales and profitability from System LSI (logic chip business) worsened as demand from main customers continued to decline,” Robert Yi, Samsung’s head of investor relations said last week. His comments confirmed, albeit indirectly, how Apple’s gradual shift away from Samsung as a customer of microprocessors was eating into its profits.

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DigiTimes Stories July 24, 2014

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Supply-chain rumors are can be unreliable sources at the best of times, but never more so than when they claim to offer insight into Apple’s strategic plans. DigiTimes is claiming that Apple will be launching the 4.7- and 5.5-inch models of the iPhone 6 separately “to avoid competition between the two models.”

The different timetables have been set as Apple does not want to repeat the mistake it made in 2013 when it launched the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c simultaneously, said the sources.

Let’s take this one step at a time. First, what companies in the supply-chain know are how many orders have been placed with them for specific components. They don’t know what orders Apple may have placed with other suppliers for the same components, and they don’t even necessarily know in which product the parts will be used …  expand full story

DigiTimes Stories July 1, 2014

Samsung reportedly takes early lead in possible three-way battle to make Apple’s A9 processor

A report from DigiTimes claims that Samsung has received orders from Apple for chips made using its new 14nm process, with volume production set to ramp up in the course of next year.

The Samsung Electronics and Globalfoundries team reportedly has landed orders for its 14nm FinFET process from Qualcomm and Apple, with related foundry services to begin in early 2015, according to industry sources in Taiwan …

DigiTimes 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

DigiTimes Stories March 26, 2014

Following a forum post from a Chinese website, Digitimes is reporting that Apple will indeed ship a brand new MacBook Air with Retina display in the second half of this year.

The Digitimes article offers no specifics on what the new MacBook Air will feature, aside from the Retina display. A forum poster (who has a track record of accuracy) from last week said that the new model of laptop would feature a fan-less design in an even thinner form factor than the current MacBook Airs’ enclosure.

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DigiTimes Stories March 24, 2014

Apple reportedly pushing to automate iPhone battery production, reducing reliance on labor

Digitimes is reporting that Apple is looking to transition iPhone battery production from labor-intensive processes to fully-automatic machine production lines in 2014.

Although the reliability of Digitimes’ reporting is often poor, in this case the trustworthiness of the report is much more likely to be solid. Unlike some of their previous stories in recent memory, automating battery production is a direct matter of the supply chain — which is Digitimes’ area of expertise.

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