Printed circuit board Stories July 26, 2014

A new iPhone is shipping in a few months, so that naturally means that there is talk of the new Apple device including NFC capabilities. This time, the claims come via website NoWhereElse.fr, which claims that the above printed circuit board is a legitimate iPhone 6 part that includes an NFC chip and an 802.11ac WiFi card among the usual other components. Why would Apple include NFC, an old technology far inferior to Bluetooth Low Energy? I’m not sure, so don’t count on it happening. You can see from the image above that the iPhone 6 part is quite similar to the current iPhone’s variant, and today’s leak does not tell us much more about what we already know is coming: a thinner, lighter device, with a larger and higher-resolution display, new sensors, and a faster processor. We’ve reported that at least the upcoming 4.7-inch model will take its bow in mid-September, while the 5.5-inch version is shipping later.

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Printed circuit board Stories August 30, 2013

After Sonny Dickson posted credible photos of an iPad 5 front panel yesterday, he’s now got hold of the claimed rear casing (which we first showed you back in January) and put the two together. Now all he needs is a screen, a touch-panel, a few buttons, a battery, some circuit boards …

More photos below …  expand full story

Printed circuit board Stories October 16, 2012

iFixit’s Kyle Wiens disputes EPEAT certification of Retina MacBook Pro

Apple was just given the EPEAT Gold certification for the Retina MacBook Pro after reversing its decision to withdraw its products from the green computer registry. Today, iFixit’s Kyle Wien has a few strong words about the MacBook Pro’s Gold certification. He claimed the decision “demonstrates that the EPEAT standard has been watered down to an alarming degree”:

With the Retina MacBook Pro, EPEAT felt there were three specific concerns about the product design that merited further investigation… On the surface, it seems that a product assembled with proprietary screws, glued-in hazardous batteries, non-upgradeable memory and storage, and several large, difficult-to-remove circuit boards would fail all three tests…But it’s not that simple…. 

Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display is not repairable, it’s not upgradeable, and it’s not easy to disassemble for recycling. Yet it is EPEAT Gold. The Product Verification Committee’s decision essentially greenwashes the Retina.

Go to iFixit to read Kyle’s full post about how the MacBook pro was able to get verified EPEAT Gold. 

Printed circuit board Stories September 28, 2012

Apple’s tight control over its Asian supply chain profiled

In a wide-ranging report on Apple’s Taiwan supply chain, the Mercury News reports on the incredible sway Apple has over the manufacturing markets in Asia. One little part of the story is notable, however:

An Apple engineer called to inquire about TeamChem’s new conductive adhesive technology that, among other things, would allow chips to be mounted directly on an iPhone circuit board, eliminating the need for tiny sockets. This would lower manufacturing costs, increase the speed in which the devices roll off assembly lines and allow them to be even thinner. The adhesive, which has yet to be mass produced, could also be used on flexible circuit boards for future devices with flexible panels.

It is interesting that the suppliers talk in one breath about how Apple will cut them off if any technical information is leaked, but they are leaking technical information to a media outlet in the next sentence.

Printed circuit board Stories July 9, 2011

In a note last night, Wayne Lam of IHS-iSuppli made the case against Apple going with 1st generation LTE chips in its next iPhone.

“It remains to be seen whether the next Apple iPhone set for introduction in September will support 4G LTE,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for IHS. “However, if it does, two things are clear. First, the iPhone’s minuscule printed circuit board (PCB) will have to grow in size in order to support the first-generation LTE baseband processor as well as all the supporting chipset. Second, the next iPhone’s BOM value certainly will increase substantially compared to the iPhone 4 if LTE is implemented in the same manner as in the HTC Thunderbolt.”

I think Apple is more concerned with the extra space and battery life the new chips would consume much more than the extra cost of the components.“The first generation of LTE chipsets forced a lot of design compromises with the handset, and some of those we are just not willing to make,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple chief financial officer, speaking at the company’s April 2011 earnings call.

The next round of chips which would allow Apple to put LTE in a similarly sized package won’t hit the streets until the first half of 2012.

I don’t see an iPhone as big at the Thundebolt or Charge, ever.  expand full story

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