iSuppli teardown shows same price despite 3G swap
A new cost breakdown by IHS iSuppli has given more definitive raw parts costs for the iPhone 4S. A 16GB version of the phone is estimated to cost about $188, or within 50 cents of last year's model when it was new. The switch from an Infineon (now part of Intel) chip to the dual-mode Qualcomm chip had little impact on the cellular chipset, which in total cost about $14 to $15.
iPhone 5 and even iPad 3 production starting up
The earliest phases of production for the iPhone 5 and supposedly the iPad 3 are underway, part suppliers maintained Friday. Suppliers are reportedly gathering materials now with the expectation that full-scale assembly and shipments will start in both for August with releases on or before October. Despite rumors, just one completely new iPhone was claimed by Digitimes' sources to be on tap, while the iPad 3 may have a 2048x1536 display that would crest a pixel density of 250DPI, even as it goes thinner and lighter.
iPhone 5 hits AP testing stage
New details reportedly emerging Monday have the next iPhone at the very last stage before production. The new design is supposedly at the AP stage, the very last stage at which the hardware is production-ready and good enough for both Apple and carrier executives to use as secret day-to-day models. The 9to5Mac tip lined up with talk of production starting in July followed by a release in September.
Largan hints 8MP camera plans for iPhone
Largan Precision in a shareholder meeting Thursday gave more official hints that it was supplying eight-megapixel iPhone cameras. CEO Lin En-ping said that camera lens orders had been increasing to a number of Largan's clients, including Apple, HTC, Nokia, and RIM. Most were upgrading from five to eight megapixels, so those later orders were growing faster, he said.
Backs earlier rumors
A Taiwanese supplier, Largan Precision, sees 8-megapixel lens modules replacing 5-megapixel ones as the mainstream for smartphones in the third quarter of 2011, according to local industry sources. The change is attributed to "possible orders from Apple," presumably for the next-generation iPhone, alternately dubbed the iPhone 5 or 4S. The claim backs earlier reports that Largan will supply lensing for sensors made by OmniVision. Currently just under 10 percent of Largan's lens modules are for 8-megapixel cameras.
Apple shifts from iPhone 4 to 4S as LTE ruled out
Insiders claimed Wednesday that the absence of LTE on the next iPhone, widely thought of now as the iPhone 4S, was owed to one manufacturer. Qualcomm is reportedly having problems getting sufficient chip yields for the part Apple would want and thus not enough for production. As most have been predicting, Apple was deemed likely by Digitimes' sources to be pushing a 4G iPhone to 2012.
iPhone 5 may be made in July or August
A trio of sources claimed Wednesday that the iPhone 5's production schedule had been narrowed down to the summer. Production would start at Foxconn in July or August with shipments in September, consistent with talk that Apple would skip WWDC but use its annual music event to launch the phone. One of Reuters' sources echoed beliefs that it would be "largely similar" to the iPhone 4 on the outside.
Suppliers back next iPad's dual cams and sharp LCD
Four sources today slipped details of what's expected to appear in the next iPad. Supporting case leaks, one mentioned that it would have dual cameras. Two told Reuters that Genius Electronic Optical and Largan Precision had newly secured camera contracts with Apple likely attached to the project, although they couldn't directly link the work to the new iPad.
Currency shifts blamed
Apple suppliers based in Taiwan may be forced to raise their prices, says Bloomberg. The Taiwanese dollar has grown 2.5 percent against the US dollar during the last month, and by 7.2 percent during the last year. One supplier, Wintek, is estimating that a 1 percent increase in the exchange rate cuts 0.5 percent off its gross profit margin.
2010 iPhone leans more on parts from Taiwan
Apple has switched up the suppliers in use for the new iPhone, a report by Taiwan's Economic Daily News paper said today. Foxconn will still put together the finished product, but Apple is now believed using three companies for the touch layer: Chimei Innolux is making 15 percent of the panels while the rest is split between Wintek and TPK. The American company is also leaning more heavily on Taiwan as a whole, as quartz maker TXC and laminate maker Taiflex Scientific are moving from less than a fifth of orders to 45 and 65 percent each.
2009 iPhone Supplier Leak
The companies responsible for manufacturing parts in the next major iPhone release have potentially been named by industry contacts of DigiTimes that also predict ship dates and numbers. The Taiwan-area site reinforces its previous claim that OmniVision is making a 3.2-megapixel sensor for the Apple handset's camera and now says that Largan Precision is making the rest of the imaging unit. Infineon is continuing to provide the cellular baseband (likely upgraded to 7.2Mbps 3G) as well as the GPS chipset.