People queue for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus all across China. Photo: People’s Daily/Weibo
Apple’s doing everything it can to push its brand in China, which Tim Cook is convinced will soon take over from the U.S. as the company’s primary market.
Having recently taken the top spot for smartphone sales in the country for the first time ever, and also beaten out the likes of Gucci and Chanel to be named China’s favorite luxury brand, Apple is now teaming with manufacturer Foxconn to introduce a trade-in program for iPhones — letting customers exchange their older iPhone handsets for credit against other Apple products.
The program is set to go into action next week, on March 31.
Tim Cook greeting Foxconn workers in China. Photo: Apple
A Chinese workers’ rights group released a new report today that sheds light on the deplorable working conditions in factories that assemble the iPhone 6. According to China Labor Watch, on February 3, 2015, Pegatron assembly line worker Tian Fulei died while assembling the iPhone 6.
The hospital labeled the cause of death as “sudden death,” but fellow workers say Tian worked long overtime shifts day after day, which gave his family reason to believe that Tian died from overwork.
To smooth things over, Pegatron reportedly offered the family a measly $2,400 as compensation for their son’s death. Tian’s family of farmers couldn’t afford to pay for an expensive independent autopsy to prove the death was work-related. Eventually they took Pegatron’s next offer of $1,277 for his untimely death.
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
We've coming out of our winter hibernation to an avalanche of new iPhone 6S rumors claiming Apple's next smartphone will have the biggest camera upgrade ever. There's also whispers of a 12-inch MacBook Air on the horizon, and a possible ARM-powered Mac in the next year.
Step up to the crystal ball and find out which of these rumors is most likely to come true in 2015.
The Rumor: Your iMacs and MacBooks will be powered by ARM processors in 1 - 2 years/
The Verdict Not likely to happen yet. Ming Chi Kuo, aka “the world’s most accurate Apple analyst” has been wrong a time or two, and I think this is time he’s way off. Ditching Intel chips has been rumored forever. It still doesn’t make sense, as Apple would be sacrificing a lot of processing power for modest battery gains. It could happen in the next five years, but Kuo’s prediction that we’ll see an ARM powered MacBook in the next year sounds too soon to be true.
The Verdict: Sounds almost too good to be true, but we’ve heard this year’s camera upgrade will be the biggest ever. The iPhone is now the 2nd most popular camera brand in the world. Adding optical zoom and better image quality might be enough convince most users to never buy a regular camera again.
The Verdict Apple is not making a wearable camera. Not because it couldn’t make a kickass wearable camera that’s even better than GoPro, but because there’s just not enough money in the wearable cameras market. If Apple can’t sell tens of millions of units of a product every quarter there’s no point in making it. GoPro investors can rest easy for another year.
The Verdict Probably not going to happen. There are so many more parts that could break and need repair if Apple moved to a spring loaded joystick/home button. We still haven’t seen any iPhone gaming cases take off, and this is certainly an intriguing idea, but this patent is mostly likely a glimpse into an alternative Apple universe we’ll never see.
The Rumor: Apple already lined up a new a sapphire supplier.
The Verdict Too early to tell. Ever since GTAT went belly up Apple’s been hunting for a new sapphire supplier. Previous rumors have claimed Foxconn will step in, while a recent Wall Street Journal report points to Apple supplier Desay as the possible GTAT replacement. The company already makes sapphire displays for its smartphones. Maybe the S in iPhone 6S will stand for “sapphire.”
The Rumor:2GB of RAM will be the new standard on the iPhone 6S.
The Verdict The odds of the iPhone 6S getting 2GB of RAM is incredibly likely. We’re not expecting a design overall on the 6S, but there should be plenty of big internal upgrades. The iPhone 6 only has 1GB of RAM. Doubling it will certainly make it wicked fast, and all those new Metal-coded games will look better than ever.
The Verdict Count on it, but not until 2016. Foxconn is reportedly dedicating an entire factory to pumping out OLED displays for iPhones and Apple wearables. Mass production probably won’t start until 2016, which will come just in time for Apple to swap out the iPhone 6s’ LCD display with a thinner, brighter OLED beauty.
Foxconn’s relationship with Apple may be set to become even closer. Photo: Apple
Foxconn’s new $2.6 billion factory dedicated to building displays exclusively for Apple will supply OLED panels for future iPhones and wearables, according to a report from leading Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun.
Long-time Apple manufacturer Foxconn is supposedly working with touch panel company InnoLux to put together an ecosystem, allowing it to produce sixth-gen low temperature poly-silicon films, aimed at entering mass production in 2016.
Tim Cook has told Apple employees he’s “deeply offended” by the BBC’s critical documentaryApple’s Broken Promises that investigated working conditions inside Apple’s supply Asian supply chain.
In an email obtained by The Telegraph from Apple VP Jeff Williams to the company’s workers in the UK, Williams said he and Cook are offended by the BBC’s suggestion that Apple broke promises with workers in the supply chain, and that no other company is doing “as much as Apple does to ensure fair and safe working conditions.”
Williams also countered the BBC’s claims that Apple uses tin sourced through child labor in Indonesia, saying Apple is spearheading the movement to hold the tens of thousands of artisanal miners more accountable, rather than getting out of the country altogether.
Cook welcomes China’s Internet Minister to Apple. Photos: China.com.cn
The minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China got a sneak peek at the Apple Watch during a recent visit to Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. Photos published by a state-owned website show Apple CEO Tim Cook demonstrating the device to Lu Wei, who also stopped by Facebook’s campus to meet Mark Zuckerberg.
According to the Chinese financial publication Jiemian, Foxconn is facing numerous difficulties building robots capable enough to carry out the kind of precision needed for constructing Apple devices. First and foremost is the fact that the bots are simply too clunky to do the work required of them — primarily because they were designed for automotive work rather than for assembling iPhones.
The current crop of bots reportedly have a production accuracy of 0.05mm, making them a little shy of the 0.02mm accuracy needed to build Apple products.
Tim Cook has a go at assembling an iPhone. Photo: Apple
According to a new report from Bloomberg, Foxconn is set to spend $2.6 billion building a new factory in Taiwan exclusively to create displays for Apple.
Equipment installation for the factory is likely to begin next month, with the aim of starting mass production of panels by the end of 2015. The factory will require hiring an addition workforce of 2,300 people, and is going to be built at Innolux’s Kaohsiung Science Park campus in Southern Taiwan.
Foxconn currently has factories in China dedicated to assembling iPhones and iPads, but this will be the company’s first designed entirely with the goal of producing Apple components to go inside the devices.
Apple’s manufacturers literally can’t build iPhones fast enough. iPhone 6 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple manufacturer Pegatron is having to expand its production capacity to deal with the epic demand being heaped on it due to the success of the iPhone 6, according to a new report.
Earlier today, Pegatron CEO Jason Cheng told investors that his company has spent upwards of $200 million in 2014 in capital expenditure to help ramp up production, and that this figure is going to increase to a massive $300 million next year.
Although a slowdown in notebook demand meant that Pegatron’s overall revenue is down 6.8% versus the same quarter in 2013, revenue from the company’s communications products (which includes the iPhone 6) grew 10% year on year. Net profit meanwhile leaped an astonishing 92% in the July-to-September period.
For those keeping track at home, this is the same time Pegatron began shipping the iPhone 6.