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Posts Tagged ‘Manufacturing Partners’

Microsoft says Windows Phone will beat the iPhone in China

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Microsoft believes its Windows Phone operating system will help the software giant push past Apple in China’s smartphone market, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Passing Apple is an “interim goal” for the company, as the longer-term objective is to surpass Google’s Android platform and become the local market leader, Microsoft’s chairman and chief executive officer for the Greater China region Simon Leung said. Read on for more.

China is a crucial market for vendors, and the country is predicted to become the world’s largest smartphone market in 2012. According to market research firm IDC, smartphone shipments in China will increase 52% to 137 million units, overtaking the United States for the first time ever.

“We will continue to drive the price down,” Leung said. “Our goal is number one. Having a goal to be number two is not really a goal.” While Apple’s 16GB iPhone 4S cost 4,988 yuan in China, Leung said that Microsoft’s manufacturing partners will “definitely” offer devices in the price range of 1,000 yuan, roughly $158, although he did not specify which partners or devices. By 2016, Windows Phone is projected to have a 20% Chinese market share, ahead of Apple’s 16% and trailing Google’s 60%, said Teck-Zhung Wong, a Beijing-based analyst at IDC.

Microsoft unveiled an updated version of its Windows Phone platform for the Chinese market on Wednesday, and announced the availability of the first Windows Phone for the region, the HTC Eternity.

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Apple and Foxconn respond to ABC’s iPad factory expose

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Apple and Foxconn have each responded to various claims made in ABC’s Nightline segment that took a look inside two Foxconn factories in an effort to shed light on their working conditions. Responding to a comment made by one worker who claimed she carves aluminum shavings from 6,000 iPad cases each day, Apple said this was likely the result of a miscommunication. “In manufacturing parlance this is called deburring. Her line processes 3,000 units per shift, with two shifts per day for a total of 6,000. A single operator at Ms. Zhou’s station would deburr 3,000 iPads in a shift,” Apple told ABC. Read on for more.

ABC noted in its report that the starting wages at Foxconn’s factories are so low that workers don’t even have to pay income taxes. “We have over 75 percent of the employees in the category of earning at least 2,200 RMB ($349/month) basic compensation standar,” a Foxconn spokesperson told ABC. “That means they are earning 13.75 RMB ($2.18) per hour. If they work overtime on the weekend, they will earn 27 RMB ($4.28) per hour. In order to reach 3500 to be taxable, they will have to work 47 OT hours to reach 3,500.”

The spokesperson continued, “If the overtime hours are in weekdays, they have to work around 63 hours per month to reach that level of salary to be taxable. Your statement is only true when applying to the entry-level workers while over 75 percent are already over the probation and earning more than 2,200 RMB basic salary.”

While nothing startling was uncovered by ABC’s look inside the “iFactory,” a number of concerning reports surrounding facilities maintained by Apple’s supply and manufacturing partners have emerged recently. The Fair Labor Association’s preliminary inspections found “tons of issues” in Foxconn’s factories, one report alleges that Foxconn hid underage workers while ABC filmed in its factories and two workers claiming to have been poisoned by a cleaning agent while working in a plant that assembles iPhone displays on Wednesday pleaded for the public to demand action.

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Nook Tablet shipments total 1 million units, report claims

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Barnes & Noble’s manufacturing partners have now shipped a total of 1 million new Nook Tablets according to a recent report. Unveiled early last month and released shortly thereafter, the new Nook Tablet features a 7-inch “Vivid View” display built by LG, 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a dual-core 1GHz processor and the Android 2.3 operating system. According to sources at component suppliers speaking to DigiTimes, more than a million new Nook Tablets have been manufactured and shipped to Barnes & Noble so far. The report also claims Barnes & Noble had to increase orders recently due to strong sales; the bookseller initially ordered 800,000 Nook Tablets to be built through the end of 2011, DigiTimes noted.

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Amazon ups Kindle Fire orders on strong demand

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Amazon has reportedly increased Kindle Fire orders with its manufacturing partners following stronger than expected demand for its premier tablet. DigiTimes reports that more than 5 million units are now on order in 2011 as pre-orders for the $199 tablet remain strong; the online retailer took nearly 100,000 pre-orders on the first day of pre-sales availability alone. Amazon had already increased its orders last quarter according to the site’s anonymous industry sources, from 3.5 million to 4 million units. The Kindle Fire will launch on November 15th featuring a 7-inch display, a soft-touch case and deep integration with numerous Amazon services, granting users access to streaming music, streaming movies and of course, a huge library of eBooks.

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LG and Samsung hit speed bumps with iPad 3 displays

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Apple’s manufacturing partners are running into a few speed bumps creating the new high-resolution Retina Display for the iPad 3, CNET reported recently. LG CEO Young Soo Kwon confirmed that his company, which also builds the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and 4S, is working on the next-generation iPad 3 screens. Samsung and Sharp are also allegedly behind the development. However, CNET said that mass manufacturing a display with a 2,048 x 1,536-pixel resolution, twice the pixel density of the current iPad 2, has been a struggle. “It’s not a question of just making one,” a source said. “That, of course can be done. The challenge is making lots of them. This is a quantum leap in pixel density. This hasn’t been done before.” In August, a report surfaced that suggested Apple had delayed the iPad 3 due to display issues. CNET said the companies have 1,600 x 1,200-pixel resolution screens prepared as a back-up in case the Retina Display can’t be mass produced in time.

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iPad 3 production starts this quarter according to Susquehanna

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Production of Apple’s third-generation iPad is about to get underway according to Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Jeffrey Fidacaro. According to Fidacaro, Apple’s manufacturing partners have orders to build as many as 1 million iPad 3 tablets in the fourth quarter of this year, in line with an earlier note from the analyst’s colleague at Susquehanna, Christopher Caso. “Our checks indicate that iPad 3 has now shown up on AAPL’s production forecast for a late-4Q production start,” Caso wrote in a recent research note. “We believe 0.6 mln-1 mln units are forecasted for 4Q production.” Last week, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White said that Apple will unveil a new entry-level “iPad mini” in the first quarter of 2012. The new tablet will not necessarily be an iPad with a smaller form factor, White’s checks found, but rather a lower price tag likely in the mid to high-$200 range. The analyst said Apple will then release a “feature rich standard-priced iPad 3″ in the second quarter next year.

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Apple to ship more than 20 million iPad 2 tablets in Q3

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Those who follow technology press closely were disappointed to learn that a revamped iPad rumored to launch this fall — possibly a “Pro” model with a Retina Display — is likely not going to become a reality. Apple never made any official mention of the device, of course, so we have no way of knowing whether or not earlier rumors were accurate. What we can seemingly say, however, is that consumers don’t seem to care. Apple continues to sell iPad 2 tablets as fast as its manufacturing partners can ship them, and a new report from Taiwan Economic News on Friday suggests Apple continued to see unprecedented demand so far this quarter. Read on for more.

Without specifying the source of its report, Taiwan Economic News states Apple’s main iPad supplier, Foxconn-owner Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., has revised its third-quarter iPad 2 shipment estimates up to more than 20 million units. The firm had previously projected that shipments would total 14 million units according to the report.

During its last earnings call, Apple said it sold 9.25 million iPads in its June quarter. It should be noted, however, that iPad 2 supply did still fall short of demand at times in several regions during that period. If shipments of Apple’s popular tablet are finally able to meet or surpass demand, third-quarter iPad sales — which would correspond with Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter — could balloon significantly.

Apple will report its September-quarter earnings next month.

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iPhone 5 manufacturing kicks off without iOS 5, report claims

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Apple’s manufacturing partners have reportedly begun assembling the iPhone 5 according to a new report from Macotakara, which has a mixed track record. The report follows news from this morning that German Apple carrier partner Deutsche Telekom has already begun pre-sales of the next-generation Apple smartphone. Foxconn, which will supposedly handle roughly 85% of iPhone 5 production, and Pegatron, which has picked up a contract for the remaining 15%, are said to have ramped up assembly ahead of Apple’s official announcement of the device, which is expected as soon as next week. Citing information from an anonymous source, the report also notes that finished devices are not yet being packaged, as the release build of iOS 5 has not yet been finalized.

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HP’s stillborn TouchPad tablet to get one last run in October

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Gadget collectors and consumers looking for a high tech bathroom companion are in luck. According to anonymous industry sources speaking to DigiTimes, Hewlett-Packard’s manufacturing partners are prepping one last TouchPad run that HP will then attempt to sell off beginning in late October. The site claims HP has ordered the production of between 100,000 and 200,000 TouchPad tablets that will then be sold off at a discount. It is currently not known if HP intends to match the prices from its earlier sale, during which retailers were charging $99 for the base 16GB model and $149 for twice the storage. HP also intended to launch a 7-inch “TouchPad Go” model for which parts had been ordered from suppliers, but those plans were scrapped according to the report. HP announced during its earnings call last month that the 2-month-old TouchPad tablet would be put to sleep along with the rest of HP’s webOS hardware efforts. HP said it will keep the software platform alive, put webOS on printers and personal computers, and attempt to license it out to hardware vendors, but we’re not sure which companies HP has in mind as potential licensees. Certainly not Samsung.

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Tablets are fun, but they can’t replace PCs

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The iPad continues to sell as fast as Apple’s manufacturing partners can build them, and other vendors are bound to get in on the action as well once they realize they’re doing it wrong. After all, just about every visible analyst has gone on record with the belief that the tablet market will explode over the next few years. Interestingly, however, several analysts also agree that the explosive tablet market will have very little impact on personal computer sales, and new data from a recent survey reaffirms this notion. Private equity firm Robert W. Baird & Co. recently conducted a survey of 1,114 consumers found that only 6% believe they can do without a PC today. Another 11% say they might be able to live without a PC in the future, but 83% say PCs will live on as a commodity for the foreseeable future. Among the respondents who were current or future tablet owners, 74% said they still need a PC despite owning a tablet. Finally, Baird found that 93% of current tablet owners surveyed use Apple’s iPad. Among prospective tablet buyers, the iPad held the interest of 94.5% of respondents followed by HP’s TouchPad (10.4%), Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 (8.3%), Motorola’s XOOM (8.5%) and the HTC Flyer (4.3%). Two charts showcasing Baird’s findings follow below.

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Apple iPhone shipments could approach 100 million this year

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Apple has placed orders with its manufacturing partners for as many as 26 million iPhone 5 handsets in the second half of 2011 as it prepares for a massive launch this fall. In addition to Apple’s iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 models, this could bring the vendor’s second-half iPhone shipments up to 56 million units, DigiTimes reported on Monday. Tack that massive figure onto the 18.65 million iPhones Apple shipped in the fiscal second quarter and the 20.34 million units shipped in the fiscal third quarter, and Apple could potentially ship just under 100 million iPhone handsets this year. Apple is expected to unveil at least one new iPhone model in the coming weeks, which will then go on sale in late September or early October.

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Do these photos reveal Apple’s new iPhone 5 design?

Monday, August 1st, 2011

The sleek, slender smartphone pictured above is absolutely not Apple’s next-generation iPhone. It is entirely possible, however, that the iPhone 5 could feature the same design. Images of a fake iPhone 5 were published this past weekend by gizchina.com, and they show a strikingly thin 7mm-thick handset that has all the makings of an Apple design. The device itself is certainly not built of the same high-quality materials or components Apple would use, but as has been noted by several sites that picked up the story, it is possible — perhaps even likely — that the above clone is based on Apple’s actual iPhone 5 design. Manufacturing has probably begun at this point, and employees of Apple’s manufacturing partners leak parts and information left and right. So, a Chinese iPhone clone maker obtaining Apple’s designs (or even a working device) and building a clone is hardly far fetched. The design also looks like it would fit perfectly into some of the iPhone 5 cases that have surfaced, though that doesn’t necessarily say much. Nothing is certain until Apple makes it official, but this could very well be the design we see Apple executives showing off when the iPhone 5 is finally unveiled in the coming months.

[Via Gizmodo]

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Windows Phone ‘Mango’ released to vendors

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Microsoft confirmed on its Windows Team Blog on Monday that it has released the RTM build of Windows Phone “Mango” to manufacturing partners. “This marks the point in the development process where we hand code to our handset and mobile operator partners to optimize Mango for their specific phone and network configurations,” explained Microsoft’s Windows Phone corporate vice president Terry Myerson. Microsoft has said Mango will deliver more than 500 new features to the Windows Phone platform, including Internet Explorer 9 and deeper social network integration, and we expect to see the release hit current devices in August. In addition, new phones from Microsoft’s partners, which include Nokia, HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE, are expected to be unveiled as early as September.

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Apple to begin building iPhone 5 mid to late August, Apple-branded TV in the works, analyst says

Monday, June 27th, 2011

A new report suggests Apple’s manufacturing partners are preparing to begin assembling the next-generation iPhone some time between the middle and end of August. This time frame suggests that a launch might not occur until the second half of September at the earliest. Following a series of meetings in Taiwan, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty issued the new production timeline in a note to investors on Sunday. “Apple’s next iPhone will begin production in mid to late August and ramp aggressively,” the analyst wrote. Her meetings yielded no information about a new prepaid iPhone that might launch as a complimentary model in September, however. Huberty also reaffirmed reports that Apple is working on a branded television product that could open the door to a massive new revenue stream. “We also believe Apple is in the early design stages for a TV, which could add $19 billion and $4.50 of annual revenue and EPS longer-term,” she wrote in the same note on Sunday. Huberty sees Apple stock as a great purchase for investors in spite of its recent downward trend, and most analysts seem to agree, though the stock continues to drop despite countless favorable ratings from analysts.

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RIM may have doubled BlackBerry PlayBook build plans, 4G version could launch in June

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

In a note to investors on Wednesday, RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky suggested that sales of RIM’s new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet may be exceeding the company’s initial expectations. According to Abramsky, RIM may have increased the number of tablets on order from its manufacturing partners by as much as 100% to between 1.2 and 1.5 million units for the second quarter of 2011. The note cites strong sales estimates as one possible cause, and also states that the launch of 4G-enabled versions of the PlayBook may have been pushed up to June — another possible cause for the ramp up. Despite the possible increase in orders, RBC maintains its earlier sales projections of 500,000 PlayBook tablets in RIM’s May quarter and 4 million units total in 2011.

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