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artist-render-of-iphone-5-whiteThere might be a shortage of iPhone5s when they hit the market.

Juro Osawa at the Wall Street Journal reports Sharp "hasn't started mass producing screens" for the next iPhone. It was supposed to have been shipping screens to Apple by the end of August.

Sharp isn't Apple's only supplier. It is also getting screens from Japan Display and LG Display, Osawa reports. Apple should still be able to manufacture the new iPhone, it's just a matter of whether or not it will be able to make enough if one of its suppliers is behind schedule.

Published in Corporate

Apple chipIn an attempt to diversify its mobile processor supply chain, Apple reportedly offered Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. upwards of $1 billion for dedicated production, but was denied as the chip maker wants to remain agile in a booming smartphone market.

According to people familiar with the situation, TSMC denied separate investment bids from Apple and Qualcomm, both of which wanted the chip maker to dedicate a portion of its production line to making chips for them, reports Bloomberg.

Published in Corporate

Asia OEM

Apple Inc.'s position as the largest buyer of chips gives the firm a dominant position over suppliers. But in the critical Asia-Pacific region—where most chips are bought—local OEMs are increasing spending faster and giving Apple a run for its money in supplier relationships, according to a market research firm.

Semiconductor spending among OEMs headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region is projected to grow by an average of 6 percent in 2012, compared to 2.5 percent growth for all global OEMs, according to IHS iSuppli.

Published in Industry

LCD

Hon Hai’s investment in Sharp could rattle the LCD supply chain. Advantage Apple at the potential expense of Samsung.

Hon Hai’s move to invest $800 million for a 10 percent stake of Sharp sets up an interesting supply chain battle that will benefit Apple and potentially threaten Samsung.

Behind the popularity of Apple’s iPad is a supply chain war for components. Apple’s supply chain is second to none and the company uses its cash hoard to procure parts. That Retina Display in the iPad was a major coup. In addition, Apple will gobble up more screens should it launch an iTV.

Published in Industry
Thursday, 23 February 2012 11:59

Who Will Pay for Apple Supply Chain Changes?

The changes Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is making to its supply chain management practices will cost millions and may even run into billions as Chinese wages skyrocket, but who will foot the final bill? Will Apple successfully pass the extra costs of the initiatives it has introduced recently to its contract manufacturers and suppliers; will the company itself absorb the cost, or will it successfully pass these onto customers?

Published in Corporate
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 13:03

Foxconn Scandal Offers Supply Chain Lessons

Foxconn

What do Apple, HP and Dell have in common – apart from making computers? They all source electronics from Foxconn,  the beleaguered Chinese company under fire for working conditions at its factories. There is a clear lesson to be drawn from the ongoing Foxconn furor. Fortune 500 companies’ supply chains are increasingly under the microscope— by consumers, investors, and the media.

Published in Corporate
Thursday, 08 March 2012 18:09

Apple iPad 3 Could Face Supply Chain Issues

iPad3

 

NEW YORK (Trefis) -- Over the past few years, Apple(AAPL_) has encountered numerous raw material supply-related issues but has been able to overcome them.

Apple faced challenges last year such as the devastating earthquake in Japan labor and material supply issues in China, but it handled the problems deftly while other tech players such as Intel(INTC_), HP(HPQ_) and Dell(DELL_) suffered.

This time, according to a recent report from DigiTimes, there could be iPad 3 supply problems due to an insufficient supply of high resolution display screens, which are an integral of iPad 3. We discussed that issue in an earlier article.
Published in Corporate

iPAD 3

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple certainly has lots of buzz and corporate cache behind its products, but there's a hidden — almost mundane — reason its newest iPad is likely to dominate the competition: the advantageous deals the company cuts with components manufacturers.

Apple's size, and the fact that the iPad shares components with the highly popular iPhone, means that the company can buy crucial parts such as processing chips and display screens at lower prices. Any company that wants to make a tablet computer that matches the iPad's $499 starting price has to endure higher costs.

As a result, Apple's tablet-making competitors have flailed — and failed. And with the new iPad, Apple is expected to extend its 62 percent market share in the tablet computer category it created. IMS Research expects Apple to capture 70 percent of the market this year.

A year ago, scores of companies all thought they had a shot at emulating Apple's success. More than 100 tablet models were on display at the annual consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas in January 2011. Many of them ran on the Android operating system, developed by Silicon Valley powerhouse Google.

As the year progressed, those dreams crumbled. The iPad 3, launched in March, proved nearly unassailable.

A big part of the reason was that Apple has priced the iPad aggressively. At just under $500 for the basic model, Apple's profit margin on the device is lower than on the iPhone, a smaller device for which it charges phone companies a wholesale rate of $600 or more.

Published in Corporate

Apple Foxconn

This report is the result of a Fair Labor Association (FLA) independent investigation into Apple’s supplier Foxconn, China’s largest private employer. FLA is a unique collaboration among companies, universities, and labor and human rights civil society organizations that goes beyond identifying labor problems by uncovering the sources of these problems, and how best to resolve them. Working directly with corporations allows for more success in developing meaningful solutions that remain after public scrutiny and media attention have faded. After growing criticism during 2011 about the working conditions at Foxconn, including those conditions that led to deadly accidents, Apple agreed to allow FLA to conduct a thorough investigation of those suppliers, beginning with three factories at Guanlan, Longhua, and Chengdu in China. Much more than an audit for compliance, this investigation is best described as an in-depth, top-down and bottom-up examination of the entire operation.

Published in Corporate

Apple

The biggest lesson from Nike is that all this monitoring has its limitations

US Outlook We're ready for your close up now, Mr Cook. Say cheese. Tim Cook's photo op last week, when the Apple boss visited the firm's Chinese supplier, Foxconn, was timed neatly to coincide with the Fair Labor Association's audit of three Foxconn factories, which concluded health and safety violations were on the way down and the company was jacking up wages so that workers don't need to do such punishingly long overtime shifts that their legs swell up. This is good news.

But one day's photo op doesn't amount to much, given the size of the challenge for Apple in bringing down the human cost of the gadgets we love.

Published in Corporate
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