Despite its role as a manufacturer for the eagerly-anticipated iPhone 6, Apple manufacturer Foxconn has announced July as being responsible for its lowest monthly earnings since March 2013.
Surprisingly this comes not long after Foxconn posted record earnings of $131.82 billion for 2013, while company chairman Terry Gou claimed that this year’s earnings would be even greater. Nonetheless the company’s consolidated revenues of just (!) $8.66 billion for the month of July represents a decrease of 17.91 percent on month, and 13.3 percent year-on-year.
This time on The CultCast: thirsty Germans drink the tears of Brazilian children! Ohhh, sorry. Too soon? Also on the docket: the secret Apple eBay store is back at it and selling iPhones at absurdly low prices; we pitch a great new Siri feature we hope Apple bakes in; a Youtuber gets his hands on the iPhone 6’s sapphire screen, and its incredible durability is hard to believe; plus… GEEKN, the new segment where we divulge whatever gadget or activity we’re currently obsessing over. Stay tuned till the end for that.
Have a laugh and catch up on this week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the festivities begin.
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This week's Apple rumors are crazy for the iPhone 6
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.
iPhone 6 rumor season is in full bloom this week with a rash of rumors spilling new details on everything from improved battery life, sapphire displays’ extreme durability, SIM trays, and even the robot army that will help assemble Apple’s newest smartphone.
This week we were also treated to new tidbits on the production schedules of the iWatch and next-gen MacBook Airs, but you’ll have to step right up to our crystal ball to see which of these rumors are the real deal, and which are just a bunch of smoke and mirrors.
The Rumor: The Sapphire crystal display on the iPhone 6 will be nearly indestructible.
The Verdict: This looks like some serious sorcery. YouTuber Marques Brownlee got his hands on an iPhone 6 sapphire display, which comes away completely unscathed from his brutal stress test. If this is the real deal, I will finally be able to go six months without shattering my iPhone.
The Rumor: This is the inside of the iPhone 6 rear shell.
The Verdict: Looks like the real deal. We’ve already seen a number of rear shell leaks, but these pics from Feld and Volk show detail on the complex internal components, even though the part is still unfinished. You can watch the entire video on Feld and Volk’s YouTube channel, which includes two enthralling shots of a SIM tray squeezing its way into the body.
The Rumor: The next MacBook Air may have hit a speed bump.
The Verdict: The future looks cloudy. Intel’s Broadwell U 2+3 dual-core chips are likely planned for use in the next MacBook Air and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, but V-R Zone reports there have been production delays, meaning units might not ship until February 2015. If you’ve been dying for those Retina MacBook Air rumors to finally come true, you probably will have a few extra months of waiting to do.
The Rumor: Foxconn is enlisting an army of robots to help assemble the iPhone 6.
The Verdict: The robo-revolution is here. To speed up iPhone assembly, Foxconn has created 10,000 ‘Foxbots’ that can assemble around 30,000 iPhones each. Robots have been used to help automate the assembly process for years, but this is the biggest investment Foxconn has made yet, with each Foxbot costing around $20,000 - $25,000 a piece.
The Rumor: iPhone 6 will only get modest battery gains (if any at all).
The Verdict: Say it ain’t so? All I want is an iPhone I never ever have to plug in (or at least just once a day), but that’s not coming this year, reports Chinese site Sohu, whose supply chain sources says the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will get a 1800mAh battery. That is bigger than the iPhone 5s’ 1570 mAh battery, but all that extra juice will go towards powering the iPhone’s bigger display.
The Rumor: These may or may not be the SIM trays for the iPhone 6
The Verdict:Yahtzee! We have a winner for this week’s stupidest iPhone 6 leak. Ok sure, maybe this does verify that the iPhone 6 will come in 3 colors (white, gold, and space grey) just like the iPhone 5s. Other than that, the only thing this leak reveals is how fast Apple fanboys get frothy with anticipation anytime you slap an “iPhone 6” label at the end of some volume and power flex cables.
The Rumor: Haptic feedback will be the secret weapon of the iPhone 6.
The Verdict: Don’t get your hopes up. Asian supply sources have told Laoyaoba that the next iPhone will have advanced haptic feedback so tapping an onscreen button feels like a physical buttons. The feedback motors being used are supposedly more advanced than anything used in current smartphone. They also cost 3 times as much. But unless they take up minimal space, it’s unlikely Apple will add this gimmicky feature.
The Rumor: iWatch production won’t begin until November.
The Verdict: Sounds likely. We’ve yet to see a single hardware leak of the mythical iWatch, even though it was supposedly scheduled to enter production in September. Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo says Apple’s wearable won’t enter production until November, but would that give Apple enough time to build enough units for the Christmas season?
After seeing efforts from Samsung, Motorola and LG, maybe not too worried about the competition and would rather ship the best possible product a few months later.
The iPhone 6 is one of the most eagerly anticipated iPhone refreshes in years, but just how anticipated it is might surprise you.
Taiwan’s Business Weekly is reporting that Apple has orders at least 68 million units of its new iPhone. To put that in perspective, if true this is twice as large as the order Apple placed for the iPhone 5.
Don’t underestimate the power of having Apple on your side!
Not long after Foxconn announced record earnings thanks to its work on the iPhone, fellow Apple manufacturer Pegatron Corp is predicted to see consolidated revenues of $33.3 billion for 2014, mainly due to shipments of Apple’s next generation iPhone and iPad models.
Yesterday, we reported that Foxconn CEO Terry Gou had promised shareholders that the Chinese iPhone manufacturer was ready to deploy an army of 10,000 robots to help build the iPhone 6.
But while that report seems accurate, don’t expect these so-called Foxbots to completely replace humans on the assembly line. As it turns out, the iPhone 6 is going to require way too much finesse to assemble for a mere robot to do it all.
For years now, Foxconn has been expressing its interest in replacing its workers with robots, raising the possibility that future iPhones could be built with machines. In fact, in December of 2012, Foxconn quietly began testing a program to replace human workers with iPhone-building robots.
But now, it appears that Foxconn is hitting the accelerator on the program. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has just told shareholders that they will be deploying some 10,000 “Foxbots” to start building iPhones soon.
Earlier today it announced record breaking consolidated revenues of $131.82 billion for last year, while company chairman Terry Gou commented that he expects this year’s earnings to be even better.
Interestingly, Gou had some choice words to say about wearables, however — which is slightly surprising given how closely the company’s success is tied to Apple, which is expected to enter the wearables market with its forthcoming iWatch, supposedly coming this October.
Foxconn and Pegatron — the two leading manufacturers set to produce the iPhone 6 — have been on a massive hiring spree as of late.
According to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, Foxconn will recruit in excess of 100,000 new workers in mainland China to help assemble Apple’s much-anticipated next generation iPhone. It had previously been reported that the company was opening up new factory space to carry out the work.
Rival Taiwanese assembler Pegatron will also be upping the workforce in one of its factories by 30 percent in order to meet the demand the influx of new work will place on it.
Sooner rather than later, Google will be tracking your every move.
The Mountain View search colossus already knows whether you have the flu or are interested in dropping a few pounds, thanks to its mining of your search data and Gmail missives.
Thanks to Google’s recent bargain buy of tiny satellite company Skybox Imaging — a purchase that cost Google just $500 million, or 1/38 what Facebook shelled out for WhatsApp — by 2016, Google may be able to predict market-moving factors like consumer spending and oil prices.
That means Google might be able to foretell when you’ll be waiting in line for the latest iPhone.