Apple’s suppliers are to begin shipping components for the next-generation iPhone by the end of May, ready for the handset’s launch during the third-quarter of 2013, according to sources in the supply chain. As suspected, the device won’t be a major upgrade, the sources claim, but rather a “slightly enhanced” version of the iPhone 5 that’s likely to be called the iPhone 5S.
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Last year, Apple launched its Labor and Human Rights page to give some transparency to the human rights controversy’s it’s been having with supply chain workers. Along with numerous explanations on what Apple is doing to make sure its supply chain workers are treated fairly, the company releases the percentage of supplier work-hour compliance every month.
For the first time since Apple started tracking its supplier work-hour compliance metric, they just hit 99% compliance in January 2013.
During Apple’s Q1 2013 earnings call, CEO Tim Cook addressed recent reports regarding iPhone order supply cuts overseas. Publications like The Wall Street Journal recently claimed that Apple has significantly slowed iPhone production, causing rampant speculation that demand has been weakening. Apple’s stock has slid since the rumors started picking up steam earlier this month.
Today Cook threw cold water on the idea of Apple cutting its own orders.
Yeah, this is one of the least surprising rumors you’ll hear all day. But it’s sure to delight those who are holding out for an iPad mini with a Retina display. According to industry sources in Taiwan, Apple will indeed be “enhancing” the display resolution of its second-generation iPad mini, introducing a 2058×1536 panel with 326 pixels-per-inch.
Production of the 7.85-inch “iPad mini” is expected to ramp up next month, according to sources in Apple’s supply chain, reaching a target of 4 million units per month. Apple hopes to build enough units to launch the device before the end of the year and serve with busy holiday season.
Based on its less than reliable track record, we always take DigiTimes reports with a hefty helping of salt. We wouldn’t advise you to read too much into this one, then, but it’ll certainly be interesting to those of you who are awaiting the new iMac refresh.
According to sources in Apple’s “upstream supply chain,” the Cupertino company’s new all-in-one desktop will enter production this month, ready for its debut “possibly around October.” Despite recent reports, the sources also claim that there is a “high chance” the machine will follow the new MacBook Pro and ship with a high-resolution Retina display.
Apple’s massive orders for its next-generation MacBook Pros are causing havoc for its supply chain, with many facing labor shortages as they struggle to meet its demands. Others have been forced to outsource their business as a desperate attempt to complete orders before they start shipping.
Before we read any further into these claims, let me just reveal where they came from: DigiTimes. While the site has published a few accurate reports on upcoming Apple products in the past, most of its rumors are worryingly farfetched.
The latest claims sources in Apple’s supply chain have detailed the Cupertino company’s launch plans for 2012, promising three new iOS devices between now and the end of the year. One of those will, as you’d expect, be the sixth-generation iPhone, but before that, we will see a new, 7-inch iPad.
What’s more, that new iPad you just bought will apparently be replaced by an even newer one during the fourth quarter.
Sources in Apple’s Taiwanese supply chain claim that the Cupertino company is gearing up to launch a cheaper $799 MacBook Air later this year that will decrease the price gap between the next-generation of Windows-powered ultrabooks. Although specifications are not mentioned in the report, sources say the notebook will make its debut during the third quarter.
Apple is set to expand its environmental concern by teaming up with China’s Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs to audit its Chinese supply chain for pollution. Joint investigations are expected to start “in the next few weeks,” according to one report, with “a maker of printed circuit boards” the first of Apple’s suppliers to enter the spotlight.