Williams tells Apple staff that company is improving labor conditions
In a new email memo to the company's UK workforce, Apple's Senior VP of Operations Jeff Williams claims that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by a BBC Panorama documentary exposing labor abuses in the company's supply chain. Specifically, Williams and Cook are said to have been "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain, or mislead our customers in any way;" Williams charges that "Panorama's report implied that Apple isn't improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth."
Ethics of Pegatron factories, Indonesian tin supply questioned
Ahead of the airing of a Panorama documentary on the subject, the BBC has published a web piece revealing the outcomes of its investigation into Apple's supply chain. The network went undercover and charges that promises to protect the rights of workers were "routinely broken." In particular the BBC found violations of standards for work hours, ID cards, dormitories, meetings, and underage labor at Pegatron factories on the outskirts of Shanghai.
Plus currently in hands of Foxconn alone
One of Apple's key suppliers, Pegatron, is increasing production capacity to produce more iPhone 6 units, and may soon add the 6 Plus to its assembly lines, says Japanese business publication Nikkei. The company is a secondary iPhone 6 manufacturer, assisting Apple's main partner, Foxconn. The latter is in fact the sole firm building the 6 Plus, and Nikkei notes that it's only rumored in Asian media that Pegatron could follow suit.
iPhones 'still made in sweatshops,' group says
The launch of the iPhone 6 at Apple's Hong Kong store has been tumultuous, accounts say. Police were brought in to disperse people waiting in line without reservations, and a regional activist group -- Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, or SACOM -- took advantage of the event to protest what it says are ongoing abuses by Apple suppliers. The group unfurled a large banner over the store reading "iSlave 6, Harsher than harsher, Still made in sweatshops," and published a new document about a nearly year-long investigation into one of Apple's most important suppliers, Pegatron.
Foxconn, Pegatron may ship 50 million units by end of 2014
Pegatron has won half of Apple's orders for production of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, supply chain sources tell Digitimes. The remainder are expected to go to Foxconn, Apple's primary assembly partner. Together the two manufacturers are forecast to churn out 50 million iPhone 6 units by the end of the year.
Compares to 50-60 million units ordered for iPhone 5s/5c launch last year
A new report citing unnamed sources "familiar with the matter" claims that Apple has put in orders for its largest-ever initial iPhone run, asking suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron to produce between 70 million and 80 million units for the devices' debut in the fall through the end of the year. Claiming that the order includes both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models (though the latter has yet to reveal solid evidence of actually existing), the new upcoming production run compares to the 50-60 million units ordered for the iPhone 5s and 5c last year.
Pegatron also boosting workforce
Hon Hai -- better known as Foxconn -- is preparing to hire some 100,000 people in mainland China to help manufacture new iPhones, says Taiwan's Economic Daily News. The effort is described as the company's largest-ever Chinese hiring spree. Another major Apple supplier, Pegatron, is meanwhile said to be boosting labor at a mainland factory by 30 percent for the sake of iPhone production. Foxconn is expected to handle 70 percent of orders, while Pegatron will deal with the remainder.
5.5-inch device still missing from most leaks
Foxconn will handle about 70 percent of 4.7-inch iPhone 6 production in 2015, and is expected to start shipping units to Apple as soon as July of this year, claims Digitimes. The site adds that Apple's 5.5-inch iPhone will enter production a month later. In April, a similar report suggested that the 5.5-inch model would only start manufacturing in September.
Pegatron rumored to have 15 percent of iPhone 6 orders
Taiwanese supplier TSMC has delivered the first batch of Touch ID fingerprint sensors for several Apple products, including the iPhone 6, second-generation iPad Air, and third-generation iPad mini, supply chain sources claim. The sensors are reportedly being assembled by TSMC subsidiaries Xintec and Suzhou Crystal Semiconductor. While the rumor is hard to verify, Apple is likely receiving parts in preparation for mass production, since its flagship products -- iPhones and iPads -- are due to refresh in the fall. Reports have also indicated that Apple intends to expand use of Touch ID beyond the iPhone.
Repackaged iPhone doing poorly next to iPhone 5s
Due to poor sales, unsold inventory of the iPhone 5c has amassed to more than three million units, anonymous Taiwanese supply chain sources claim. Production of the phone is said to have been cut completely towards the end of 2013. Regardless, manufacturer Pegatron allegedly is said to have two million or so units in stock, with the remaining phones being held by carriers and distributors.
Company specifically worried about Congo
Apple has published its eighth Supplier Responsibility report, based on data including 451 audits of its suppliers. The company claims a 95 percent compliance with the maximum 60-hour work week in its Supplier Code, a slightly improvement from 92 percent a year ago. Notably, Apple says it is now keeping a closer watch on where suppliers pull minerals from, in a bid to avoid "conflict" minerals -- minerals from regions where their sale may be used to fund ongoing wars. In particular, the Apple is focused on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
New factory being built near Shanghai to handle expected demand
An unsourced report from a Taiwanese trade paper has reported that electronics manufacturer Pegatron will supply approximately half of the future "iPhone 6" orders from Apple. The company says it is building a new factory to meet future demand, and expects to grow revenues by Tw$68 billion ($2.6 billion US) over the course of 2014. Pegatron already produces iPhones and other items for Apple, and various electronics for other manufacturers.
Faces matched to ID photos
Following criticism surrounding several worker deaths, Apple supplier Pegatron has reportedly implemented facial-recognition technology to screen for underage workers. The technology, which is said to have been introduced earlier this year, uses computers to help verify that workers are not using borrowed identification cards, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Medical experts sent to investigate
Apple has rejected claims that an underage worker's death at a Pegatron factory was due to poor working conditions. The Cupertino-based company reportedly sent its own team of medical investigators to the factory, which is said to assemble the iPhone 5c, however the experts agreed with Pegatron's assertion that the assembly line environment was not a contributing factor in the pneumonia death.
Worker found to be underage, overworked
Chinese supplier Pegatron is facing renewed criticism following a spate of employee deaths associated with its iPhone 5c production factory. In a particularly disturbing example, 15-year-old Shi Zhaokun succumbed to pneumonia after working nearly 280 hours in his first month at the plant, in apparent violation of local labor regulations and Apple's supplier code of conduct, according to a New York Times report.
iPhone 5s holds wide lead in popularity
Apple suppliers are cutting back still further on iPhone 5c production, a Chinese report says. Primary assembly partner ProTek -- better known under its parent name, Pegatron -- has slashed production from 320,000 units per day in October to only 80,000. Foxconn is said to be manufacturing units at a minimal level, only 8,000 to 9,000 per day. That company is, however, more focused on the iPhone 5s and other top-priority Apple products.
Supplier posts record revenues, but takes hit on profits
Asian supplier Pegatron is facing some financial trouble, allegedly due to cutbacks on iPhone 5c orders, according to Reuters and the Wall Street Journal. Both news agencies, quoting unnamed sources, say that the 5c has been selling relatively weakly compared to the 5s, supposedly prompting Apple to ask for fewer additional units. Apple has released general iPhone sales figures for the last quarter, but never distinguishes between models in any of its public data.
Report cites executives at suppliers for decrease, increase in manufacturing
Apple is cutting the production of the iPhone 5c after it experienced low demand than the company expected, according to the Wall Street Journal. Echoing similar reports from last week, it is claimed that suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron have been requested by Apple to decrease iPhone 5c production by 20 percent and 30 percent respectively.
Apple could be worried about past difficulties
Apple may be planning to shift some of its iMac production from Quanta to Pegatron, a report claims. Quanta currently manufactures several Mac lines, including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Some suppliers have allegedly been sending iMac components to Pegatron however, in spite of the firm normally only handling iPhone and iPad work for Apple. Even then, most iPhones and iPads are assembled by Foxconn.
Links manufacturer to plastic-backed device
A China Labor Watch report on labor and safety violations at Pegatron may have also inadvertently confirmed the existence of the low-cost iPhone, possibly known as the iPhone 5C. In the introduction to the report, one quote says that Pegatron's products include the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5, as well as "low-priced plastic iPhones." In one section of a daily chronicle, the report states that "Today’s work is to paste protective film on the iPhone’s plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched on assembly lines."
Charges include bosses withholding pay
China Labor Watch, a New York-based workers' rights organization, is accusing Pegatron -- one of Apple's major suppliers -- of violating a number of Chinese and international laws, as well as Apple's own supplier responsibility code, according to a report seen by Reuters and the Wall Street Journal. Although Pegatron is headquartered in Taiwan, it has a heavy presence in mainland China. The CLW says that between March and July it probed three factories, based in Shanghai and Suzhou, using undercover investigators and interviews with almost 200 workers. The interviews were conducted outside of the factories.
Statement appears to back device and Pegatron's involvement
The low-cost iPhone still won't be cheap, says Pegatron CEO T.H. Tung. China Times reports that the executive made the comment during a shareholders' meeting earlier today, where he argued that "cheap" isn't a term that should be associated with Apple's upcoming product. He added that when compared with basic feature phones, smartphones are offering increasingly higher value for their cost.
Suppliers expected to start feeding parts in July
Pegatron has won a contract to assemble a low-cost iPhone with a plastic back, as well as the second-generation iPad mini, and will start shipping both to Apple in August, say supply chain sources in Taiwan. Parts for both products are expected to emerge from suppliers in July. One company, Casetek, has been identified as a chassis supplier, but for which product(s) is unmentioned.
Device could grow as large as 5.7 inches
Apple is considering a range of possible options for expanding its iPhone lineup in 2014, say four sources for Reuters, some of which are said to be with Asian suppliers. The people claim that Apple is considering two bigger iPhone sizes, including 4.7- and 5.7-inch dimensions. Suppliers have reportedly been approached with plans for the bigger screens, but whether or not they'll make it into shipping products is uncertain. "They constantly change product specifications almost to the final moment, so you're not really sure whether this is the final prototype," one source says.
Taiwan-based supplier has long history with Apple, rising star status
Apple may be turning to another of its partners and away from Foxconn as the primary supplier of some future Apple products, if a report from the Wall Street Journal is correct. The paper reports that Taiwan-based Pegatron, which has a history with Apple that goes back to the original iBooks, has won the contract to be the primary supplier of a future "low-cost" iPhone model that has been rumored for months. The company already produces most of the iPad minis, and recently announced it was hiring an additional 40,000 workers for an unnamed project.
Supplier reportedly boosting staff by 40 percent
Pegatron CEO Jason Cheng is denying making comments to Bloomberg linking the company's performance to weaker iPad mini demand, according to Fortune. Cheng says that after a Pegatron Institution Investors conference, a Bloomberg reporter came to him "trying to dig out detail numbers about some specific product." But, he claims, "I clearly refused to comment on specific products, nor customers, even though he continued with other questions. I did say those words that he quotes me in the article… but I did not say anything associated with any specific products."
Biggest quarterly drop for supplier since 2011
Asian supplier Pegatron is blaming an anticipated second-quarter revenue drop on falling iPad mini demand, Bloomberg reports. The company is predicting a 25 to 30 percent sequential dip in revenue, the worst the company has seen since a 37 percent slide in the fourth quarter of 2011. CEO Jason Cheng elaborates that the Mini represents over half of Pegatron's consumer electronics revenue, although devices like e-book readers, game consoles, and other tablets have seen declines as well.
Waste discharge killled fish, hurt farming
A supplier of iPad casings is facing sanctions by the Shanghai government for polluting a local river, the Financial Times reports. Waste discharges by Casetek subsidiary Riteng are said to have regularly turned the river milky white since the Songjiang #3 factory opened two years ago. The fish population in the river has died, while area farmers say they can no longer use the water to grow their crops.
Pegatron and Foxconn tasked with manufacturing
Contract manufacturers may be preparing to build more than 10 million mini iPad tablets in the fourth quarter, according to Barclays analysts. Most of the new tablets are expected to be produced by veteran iPad maker Foxconn, while Pegatron is said to be tasked with manufacturing approximately three million units.
Supplier also tapped as making 'new version of iPad'
Pegatron has started production of the next-generation iPhone at its Shanghai plant, according to industry sources in Taiwan quoted by DigiTimes. Apple has been rumored as going into production this month, but the new claim is the first to explicitly state that work is underway. It does contradict another report which says that the next iPhone is only in late testing phases.
Alleges new 10-inch iPad due fourth quarter
Apple will launch the next iPhone in September, and a 7-inch iPad in August, says DigiTimes. The claims are based on Taiwanese supply chain sources, who add that Pegatron has landed orders for the new iPhone, while Foxconn will handle the 7-inch iPad. The report further suggests that Pegatron will build a new 10-inch iPad for launch in the fourth quarter of this year.
Pegatron agrees to Microsoft patent licensing
Pegatron on Wednesday became the latest company to reach a patent deal in Microsoft's Android licensing campaign. In a boilerplate statement, Microsoft said Pegatron would pay a royalty on every Android or Chrome OS device it manufactured. The two kept up Microsoft's typical request that the terms of the deal not be made public.
Claims 6 milllion units to be ready at launch
A so-called iPad mini will ship in the third quarter of the year as a "counter attack" to upcoming Windows tablets, a Chinese website claims. NetEase moreover reports that the smaller iPads will cost between $249 and $299, with 6 million units ready at launch. Two Asian manufacturers -- Hon Hai (Foxconn) and Pegatron -- will allegedly be responsible for production.
Report raises questions about inspections
Apple inspected a Pegatron plant building iPad 2s mere hours before an explosion injured at least 59 people, according to workers interviewed by NPR. The number of injured was initially pegged at 61, but Apple currently claims 59. NPR says it met with 25 victims of the blast last week, such as He Wenwen, who was calibrating a machine used to polish iPad 2 backs when the explosion happened.
Apple auditor FLA says Foxconn needs to be fixed
Fair Labor Association chief Auret van Heerden updated his opinions in a conversation on Friday that signaled possibly drastic action ahead. In talking to Bloomberg, he partly rescinded an earlier warm reaction and said the group was "finding tons of issues" at the contract manufacturer. He wouldn't say what these were, but he anticipated "very significant announcements" soon.
Fair Labor Association will inspect facilities
Pegatron, a Taiwan-based manufacturer that helps makes Apple's iPhones as well as numerous electronics for other companies, said it had not been informed of any pending inspections of factory work conditions prior to announcements from Apple and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) that it would audit Pegatron and Quanta Computer this spring. The statement by Apple also confirmed that FLA inspections have already begun for its principle supplier Foxconn.
Pegatron maybe pressed to choose Apple vs ASUS
A tentative rumor has had Pegatron allegedly forced to choose between manufacturing ASUS' Zenbooks and Apple's iOS devices. Taiwan's Commercial Times had heard that Apple was supposedly unhappy with the similarity to the MacBook Air and didn't want one of its own contractors to be making what was perceived to be a clone. If it happened, production wouldn't stop until at least March and would be outsourced to a nearby contractor like Compal or Wistron.
Sources back minimal cosmetic differences
Two manufacturers in the Apple supply chain, Foxconn and Pegatron, have been asked to start assembling next-generation iPads for launch in early March, says Macotakara. The Japanese site claims to have learned the information from Chinese sources, who add that the hardware should look almost identical to the iPad 2. This includes button arrangements, the dock connector, and the positioning of the front- and rear-facing cameras.
Asian manufacturers split Apple responsibilities
Apple is switching up its outsourcing strategy, according to upstream supply chain sources cited by Digitimes. Under the new arrangement, Pegatron is expected to concentrate mainly on iPad production with the iPhone serving as an "auxiliary" in 2013. On the flipside of the coin, Foxconn will reportedly focus on the iPhone, with the iPad serving as secondary output.
Similarities drawn to Foxconn incident
A December 17th explosion at a Pegatron-owned planet in Shanghai was connected to aluminum dust generated while polishing iPad shells, says a group called China Labor Watch. Aluminum dust is known to highly combustible, and CLW suggests that the blast on the 17th was similar to an accident at a Foxconn plant in May, which the company blamed on "combustible dust."
Pegatron plant sees blast shortly before opening
Apple's iPad production may have seen an at least temporary setback after reports late Sunday of an explosion at a yet-to-open plant from Pegatron subsidiary Riteng in Shanghai. The blast on the fourth floor on Saturday injured between 57 and 61, depending on conflicting claims. There hadn't been a fire, but some equipment had been damaged.
Pegatron plans to solve pollution at iPhone plants
Apple's frequent iPhone supplier Pegatron is under Chinese government scrutiny for pollution, the company mentioned on Monday. Similar to the problems faced by Catcher, environmental studies mentioned by Digitimes had Pegatron accused of excess pollution, such as waste gas or simply noise pollution. Two of its subsidaries have also been fined for releasing polluted water into the public stream.
Pegatron said getting more orders for iPhone 4S
Concerns that Pegatron might have lost iPhone orders due to demand might have been premature, Taiwan's Commercial Times claimed Wednesday. The contract maker at one point had been said making just 10 million across its entire production run but was now once again slated to make 15 million. About two million to 2.5 million of those would be made in the fall.
iPhones, iPads getting brunt of supplier focus
iPods are expected to account for only 7 percent of Apple's 2011 revenue, sources with Taiwanese component suppliers claim. The amount is small enough that firms in the iPod supply chain are allegedly shifting focus away to iPhones and iPads. Current orders for iPod parts are described as being "much weaker" than in past years.
Sources hint at RAM, display identical to iPhone 4
The only next-generation iPhone in production is a mild upgrade known as model N94, sometimes nicknamed the iPhone 4S, says Concord Securites' Ming-Chi Kuo. Based on sources, the analyst suggests that there are no signs of a redesigned iPhone 5 in Apple's supply chain. He moreover claims that the new phone will continue to use 512MB of RAM and a 3.5-inch display, despite repeated reports of a larger LCD measuring at least 3.7 inches. Kuo adds that the camera module's height should be almost the same as the iPhone 4's; Sony alleged started shipping sensors to Apple manufacturers in July, and help from OmniVision is expected to come in September or October.
ƒoxconn iPhone 5 production gets up to speed
Apple's iPhone 5 production is now approaching full steam, the supply chain found late Wednesday. Foxconn, Apple's key iPhone builder, is now believed to be making 150,000 of the new model per day. Manufacturing is believed brisk enough that Apple will ship out five million to six million iPhone 5s in September and 22 million for the fall.
iPhone 5 production ratios, camera tech uncovered
Two simultaneous discoveries have helped outlined the since-started production of the iPhone 5. Chinese tipsters said Monday that Apple contract partners Foxconn and Pegatron were manufacturing the devices without firmware. The step seen by MacOtakara wouldn't be surprising given the OS' uncompleted state but will leave Apple with a relatively short interval between having a finished OS and when it can ship.
Nook Color 2 may be mild external update
Barnes & Noble's sequel to the Nook Color could be ready in days if a rumor from the supply chain is real. The design is supposedly due this month with a similar seven-inch screen and the same Android support for apps, e-mail, and other extras. Digitimes understood that Inventec would be the main manufacturer with Pegatron helping out and TPK making the touchscreen panels.
Apple bends to pressure on eve of report's release
A new report issued by five Chinese NGOs accuses Apple of using known polluters as suppliers, and taking "advantage of the loopholes in developing countries’ environmental management systems." The Financial Times writes that the document has escalated a long-running standoff between Apple and one of the report's authors, Ma Jun, who heads the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. Only hours before the report was released, the company finally agreed to meet with Ma to talk about his accusations. The director says that Apple claimed some of the factories on his list aren't Apple suppliers, but without going into detail.
Samsung outsourcing in hints of HP hopes
Samsung might be grooming its notebook business in hopes of buying HP's spun-out PC business. Insiders in the part stream claimed Samsung was talking to Taiwan companies to outsource some notebook orders to companies like Compal, Pegatron, or Quanta in what could be the first step of handling HP's work. As HP moves over 40 million PCs a year, it would need those suppliers to keep production going, especially as Taiwan's suppliers are good at keeping costs under control, Digitimes was told.