Apple suppliers

Apple supplier unlocks space-saving capacitors just in time for 5G iPhone

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Murata
So tiny you can barely see them.
Photo: Murata

One of Apple’s key suppliers may have just found a way to free up a bit more space inside the 2020 iPhones.

Murata Manufacturing claims it has created ultrasmall capacitors that are one-fifth the size of current capacitors. With 5G capable iPhones set to gobble up battery power next year, Apple needs every extra square millimeter it can get.

Struggling iPhone display-maker secures massive bailout

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Apple display maker exec fired for embezzling millions of dollars
Japan Display makes the LCD screens for the iPhone XR.
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

Struggling Apple display-maker Japan Display has successfully secured bailout funding of 80 billion yen ($738 million).

The funding comes from Chinese investment firm Harvest Group and Hong Kong-based Oasis Management. It was previously reported that Apple would be part of this bailout package — to the tune of $100 million.

Founder of Apple’s most famous supplier is stepping down

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Terry Gou
Foxconn founder Terry Gou (right) says he's making the U.S. a bigger focus in 2020.
Photo: Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons

The founder of Foxconn, whose biggest customer, Apple, helped it rise to be the world’s top contract electronics manufacturer, says he plans to step aside to allow a younger executive to take over.

CEO Terry Gou did not give a timeline when he confirmed to a Reuters reporter his plans to resign from the Taiwan-based company he started with a loan from his mom around the same time Steve Jobs launched Apple.

The most interesting factoids from Apple’s 13th annual supplier report

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Apple gives supply chain workers access to coding classes.
Apple gives supply chain workers access to coding classes.
Photo: Apple

Apple came out with its 13th annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, giving an inside glimpse at some of the biggest issues it’s been battling.

The 66-page report is stuffed with interesting little facts, like how many gallons of water suppliers have saved and the amount of reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Apple admits it still has a lot of work to do, but the progress the company has made is pretty impressive. One of the biggest areas Apple emphasizes in its report is the people that work in the supply chain and the educational opportunities Apple is giving them.

Apple convinces 3 more suppliers to switch to renewable energy

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One of Apple's many solar farms.
One of Apple's many solar farms.
Photo: Apple

Three more of Apple’s suppliers say they are committed to making the switch from energy generated from fossil fuels to using 100% renewable energy to make iPhone components.

Despite Donald Trump’s plan to roll back environmental regulations, Apple Inc is continuing on with the promises it made under the Obama administration. Even though it may cost more money initially, Apple’s partners are starting to realize the change is good for business too.

Pegatron mole describes ‘torture’ of working at iPhone factory

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Red iPhone in hand
This is what it's like to make an iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Horrible sleeping conditions. Bad food. And boring tasks.

That’s what you can expect if you ever land at job at an iPhone factory, according to an ex-Pegatron employee and NYU grad student who went undercover at one of Apple’s factories in China.

President Donald Trump has called on Apple to bring iPhone manufacturing jobs to the U.S., but if Americans learn what it’s really like inside an iPhone factory, filling those jobs might be impossible.

iPhone 7 could have Intel inside

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Your next iPhone may be powered by Intel.
Your next iPhone may be powered by Intel.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Skylake processors aren’t the only new Intel tech Apple plans to use in 2016.

Starting with the iPhone 7, Apple may finally ditch Qualcomm modems in favor of a new chip from Intel which has pretty much missed out on the entire iPhone revolution.

Apple hits new milestones in annual supplier responsibility report

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A worker inspecting a MacBook Pro display.
A worker inspecting a MacBook Pro display.
Photo: Apple

Apple performed more accountability audits on its workforce last year that it ever has before, the company has revealed in its 10th annual Supplier Responsibility progress report that highlights the company’s efforts to improve working conditions for all people in its supply chain.

By zeroing in on the amount of hours employees are working, the iPhone-maker’s work-hour compliance rating hit an all-new high, and Apple was able to recoup $4.7 million in excessive recruitment fees for foreign contract workers.

How sloppy security exposed Apple’s super-secret product plans

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This login screen for a Quanta Computer database led to sensitive documents containing details on upcoming Apple products. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
This login screen for a Quanta Computer database led to sensitive documents containing details on upcoming Apple products. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Incredibly sloppy security at one of Apple’s key suppliers exposed some of Cupertino’s most closely guarded secrets to anybody who could conduct a simple Google search.

For months, one of Quanta Computer‘s internal databases could be accessed using usernames and a default password published in a PowerPoint presentation easily found on the Web.

Quanta, based in Taiwan, is the world’s largest notebook manufacturer. In addition to Apple, Quanta assembles laptops and ultrabooks for dozens of companies, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sharp and Sony. The company is also supposedly assembling the upcoming Apple Watch and the long-rumored iPad Pro, though no official announcements have been made.

Rules to live by if you want to be an Apple supplier

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Some of GT Advanced Technology's failed attempts to create sapphire for future iPhones. Photo: WSJ
Some of GT Advanced Technology's failed attempts to create sapphire for future iPhones. Photo: WSJ

Depending on whether or not you can fulfil what is asked of you, being an Apple supplier sounds like it’s either the best or worst experience imaginable.

In the wake of the crashing and burning of Apple’s former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies, some of Cupertino’s other contractors have pitched in with their take; filling the Wall Street Journal in on a few of the lessons they’ve learned along their roller coaster rides with Apple.

The two biggest take-homes? Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and don’t rely too much on Cupertino.