News tagged ‘China’
Chinese language newspaper China Daily reported on Monday that Apple’s Chinese manufacturing partner - Foxconn – plans to double the size of its iPhone-producing plant at Foxconn Science Park in Zhengzhou that now produces over 200,000 iPhones a day. The company is expected to spend $1.1 billion to expand the plant that, after the massive expansion, would bring Foxconn $20 billion in sales revenue in 2012. Moreover, the plant is expected to become the largest smartphone-producing facility in the world after the $1.1 billion construction.
Apple's primary iPhone manufacturer will increase the number of production lines to 95 and add to its over 1 million mainland China employees, 130,000 of whom work at the Zhengzhou facility. Foxconn currently employs a total of 1.2 million people and supplies electronics to a number of worldwide companies.
Foxconn also owns a production facility in Brazil. The plant also produces some iPhone models. The company now tries to come to a decision with local authorities concerning a $12 billion investment to build an iPad manufacturing plant in the region. Rumors claim that Foxconn will begin producing the iPad 3 with Retina Displays in January.
9to5Mac has recently posted photo of the iPad 3 home buttons that was obtained from a Chinese source. Noteworthy, claimed iPad 3 parts have been circulating for some time already in China, but only now photos of the iPad 3’ home button have stated leaking out. No real surprises, though it should help kill already sketchy rumors that Apple might do away with a home button altogether.
The above image is a comparison of an iPad 2 home button and an iPad 3 home button. At the surface, not much as changed, but the prospects of some minor structural tweaks do hint at something greater. The iPad 3 home button, which has been handled in both black and white flavors, looks almost identical to the iPad 2 home button. However, the gray glyph representing the frame of a home screen application icon is slightly thicker.
Perhaps the most interesting part about the iPad 3 home button is that its internal structuring is smaller than the iPad 2′s connector. According to the rumors, Apple had to make home button size smaller to accommodate a more pixel-dense Retina Display.
Basing on this photo, we may suggest the following:
- The iPad 3 will likely to be launched in both black and white colors
- The buttons floating around right now-in large quantities-signal that the iPad 3 is either in production or close to the production stage
- The iPad 3 will have the home button in spite of the rumors claiming that the iOS devices could soon loose the home button
According to a new study released by market research firm Distimo, despite the proliferation of handsets running Google's Android OS, which now accounts for 53 percent of the mobile smartphone market, Apple's U.S. App Store remains the top marketplace for mobile downloads. But Chinese App Store sales continue to grow and may even bypass Apple's U.S. App Store numbers in 2012.
Over the course of 2011, Apple's iPhone app sales saw a steady decline month-to month, though Distimo blames the lull on the later than usual release of the iPhone 4S. The lowest point of the year occurred in September when anticipation for the 4S was highest, and was followed by a spike upon the handset's debut. Peak revenue for the U.S. App Store came a little over a month after the newest version of Apple's smartphone was released. The same "anticipation effect" was seen in app sales for the iPad, as downloads declined in January and February only to pick up steam after the iPad 2 was released in March.
China now demonstrates a strong increase in downloads through 2011 and may surpass the U.S. App Store in 2012.
Analyst Mark Moskowitz with J.P. Morgan expects that MacBook Air sales will reach an average of 1.6 million units per quarter over the next 12 months. In the third quarter of calendar 2011, Apple sold 923,000 units of the MacBook Air, representing 838.6 percent year-over-year growth. Comparing with the previous quarter MacBook Air sales grew by 43.8 percent, outpacing total Mac unit growth of 17.1 percent.
China is now becoming a strong driver for growth of MacBook Air sales. Last quarter, MacBook Air units grew 339 percent year over year in China, versus 76.5 percent for the rest of the Mac lineup. Moreover, notebooks based on Intel's Ultrabook specification are highly unlikely to be a significant threat to the MacBook Air.
"In general, we think that Ultrabooks are highly-discretionary devices, and pricing on competitive offerings must fall below $800 before posing a viable threat to Apple's MacBook Air," he wrote in a note to investors. "In our view, Apple's first mover advantage and optimized feature set and form factor command a higher price that early adopters, productivity users, and Apple enthusiasts are willing to absorb."
Apple suppliers now claim that the next generation of iPads will arrive on the market in the next 3-4 months. Manufacturing partners of the company have reportedly begun delivering parts and components for the third-generation iPad while reducing the iPad 2 production, through it is expected to remain steady at 14-15 million units in the December quarter, before declining to 4-5 million units in the first quarter of 2012. The same sources said that production of the iPad 3 will reach 9.5-9.8 million units next quarter.
China's Commercial Times has reported that Apple will begin producing the device in January ahead of large-scale production in February. Moreover, analysts suggest that there left no significant technical hurdles for the device.
The iPad 3 is expected to include a high resolution Retina Display. Last month we reported that Apple invested in a Sharp factory for production of LCD panels for the next iPad that will be utilize IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to provide a thinner design and improve battery life. However, the recent report from Japanese source claims that iPad 3 will be little thicker that the current-generation Apple’s tablet because of unknown reasons.
According to Japanese blog Macotakara, Apple held a MFI Conference for iPod / iPhone / iPad for accessory manufacturers in Shenzen, China this past week. During the conference Apple reported that the company was going to introduce a new chip for MFI program ("MFI" means Apple's Made iPod / iPhone / iPad certification program) in order to encourage manufactures to produce more iOS-compatible accessories. The rumored chip will provide access to devices running iOS via AirPlay, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The current program for iOS devices is limited to physical dock accessories.
TouchArcade has confirmed these rumors by its recent article telling us about iOS gaming accessories. TouchArcade explains that the reason why all the current gaming accessories rely on Bluetooth keyboard emulation is due to the restrictions Apple has placed over bluetooth connections and with the new chip such restrictions seems to be loosed opening the way to analog control sticks for iOS devices.
Moreover, Apple has recently revealed that the company would be adding support for AirPlay over Bluetooth. It is unclear what advantages this will offer.
In October Taiwan-based company Proview Electronics charged Apple with trademark infringement related to the “iPad” name and the chairman promised to bring a legal action against Apple for damages in both China and US. Apple quietly acquired the global rights to the iPad trademark and also filed a suit to obtain the rights in China that apparently were not covered by the agreement. According to Reuter’s
Read the rest of this entry »
In the just released iOS 5.1 beta, developers have found references to two new iPad devices. They have codenames iPad 2,4 and iPad 3,3.
Just to remind you, iPad 2 has 3 different codenames - iPad 2 Wifi version is iPad 2,1, iPad 2 GSM is iPad 2,2 and iPad 2 CDMA is iPad 2,3. So what could be the new iPad 2,4? There are rumors that this new gadget might be a Sprint version of iPad 2. However 3G Sprint iPad would be the same hardware as the Verizon iPad, so new name might be iPad 2 WiMAX. Other rumors say this is iPad for China's TD-LTE or a dual-mode device like the current iPhone 4S.
1,000 workers at a factory in southern China that provides IBM and Apple with components, including keyboards, went on strike this week complaining of overtime requirements. The employees blocked the local highway during the strike to attract public attention to nightly overtime demands, common workplace injuries, layoffs of older workers, lack of benefits and verbal abuse by managers. The strike was halted after the company officials agreed to reduce overtime at the plant.
In a statement regarding the issue, the rights group called on Apple to "take responsibility, as there are more than 300 workers working on the Apple keyboard assembly line."
According to the results of worldwide mobile phone sales for the third quarter of 2011, released yesterday by the research firm Gartner, Apple's share of the total mobile phone market came in at 3.9% for the quarter, down from 4.6% in the previous quarter. However, Apple still takes fourth place behind Nokia, Samsung, and LG.
Apple shipped 17 million iPhones, an annual increase of 21 percent, but down nearly 3 million units from the second quarter of 2011 because of Apple's new device announcement in October. Gartner believes Apple will bounce back in the fourth quarter because of its strongest ever preorders for the iPhone 4S in the first weekend after its announcement. Markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Russia and China are becoming more important to Apple, representing 16 percent of overall sales and showing that the iPhone has a place in emerging markets, especially now that the 3GS and 4 have received price cuts.
iOS share slipped from an 18.2% in the second quarter to 15.0% in the third quarter. Android and Nokia with its soon-to-be-defunct Symbian platform are now leaders of the market. During the quarter, Android’s share increased by 52.5%, more than doubling year-over-year.
But Android dominates the worldwide smartphone market by units while Apple by profit. Some researches show that Apple now takes more than a half of the industry's profits.
Apple cooperates with an American company which helps Apple to build its forthcoming solar farm in North Carolina. Leaf Solar Power, a renewable energy company that specializes in residential and "small" commercial projects in South Florida is working with Apple on construction of Apple’s $1 billion data center, according to a person familiar with the ongoing project. Apple's massive $1 billion data center was opened this spring. The main purpose of the facility is to support Apple's online services, including iTunes and the newly launched iCloud. And use of sustainable energy is not new for the company. As usual for Apple, details of the project have not yet been revealed. We just know that last month Apple received permit to erosion control in the area.
This is quite unusual that Apple chose U.S.-based solar company, because now the most part of solar panels is produced overseas. In particular, solar panel production has greatly shifted to China over the last two years. That fact has become such an issue that earlier this year, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a law with a "Buy American" provision for the purchase of solar panels. So may be Apple decided to support President’s idea?!
The newest Apple’s iPhone 4S became available for preorders in Hong Kong last Friday and sold out almost immediately. As Brian White, analysts at Ticonderoga Securities, said, iPhone 4S preorders sold out in their first 10 minutes of availability.
"In our view, this is a very positive sign for iPhone 4S demand in Greater China has Hong Kong represents the first entry of the new smartphone in the rapidly growing region, and we expect the 4S to reach Mainland China in December," White said in a note to investors on Monday.
"We believe this rapid sell out will rest concerns surrounding the uptake of the iPhone 4S in the Greater China region that were driven by the limited language capability of Siri, which did not launch in Mandarin or Cantonese."
Although, the current version of Siri understands only English, French and German, Apple plans to start supporting additional languages in 2012, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian and Spanish.
A successful start of the iPhone 4S in Chine is good news for Apple. Of course, the nation of over a billion people is an important part of Apple’s international policy and growth.
Apple Vice President of Global Security John Theriault departs company following lost iPhone 4S investigation
A large number of Apple senior executives have left the company this year. And Apple’s vice president of global security John Theriault is one of them. We’ve heard that the reason for his departure could be the lost iPhone 4S prototype, while the official reason is retirement.
In July, an Apple employee lost a prototype of the new iPhone at the Cava22 bar in San Francisco. Following the loss of the prototype device, Apple security personnel being escorted by San Francisco police visited a home to where the device had been traced. Apple security officials reportedly posed as police officers in their search of this prototype iPhone. Apple and the SFPD may face a lawsuit over the matter, as the resident claims that he was threatened by the police and was not informed that Apple's security officials were not actually officers.
Theriault, a former FBI agent and Pfizer vice president, joined Apple in 2007. Theriault was responsible for all of the Apple’s security operations and led an anti-counterfeit team in 2008 in a fight against China’s growing counterfeit product market.
Construction crews spent the last few months revamping the 32-foot glass cube, which previously consisted of 90 glass panes. The new cube features 15 larger panes of glass, and it is almost “seemless” without nearly all of the hardware, which previously held glass panes together.
Chinese customers prefer to buy Apple’s iPhone than Nokia’s smartphones, according a report published by the investment bank Morgan Stanley. As more than a third of 2,050 surveyed urban Chinese mobile phone users express a preference for iPhone, twice that for Nokia's models.
Apple presence on Chinese smartphone market grew significantly in 2011. Not surprisingly that over fiscal 2011 the company managed to earned as many as $13 billion, comparing with $3 billion in fiscal year 2010. Morgan Stanley says it believes "China could surpass the US as Apple's largest market in about three years, adding nearly $30 billion more per year to the top-line along the way." The firm notes that sales of iPhones are also driving purchases of related Apple products, noting that Mac use is nearly four times higher among iPhone users, where Mac user share jumps to 35 percent from the standard 9 percent of the general population.
Morgan Stanley’s survey demonstrates that Apple increased its share by 6 percentage points to reach 34 percent of planned purchases in the region. Nokia dropped 8 percentage points to make up just 16 percent of the nation's planned purchases.