Apple will adopt a new manufacturing process to deliver an all-new form factor for iPhone 8, according to a new report. The next-generation Apple smartphone will use a stainless steel forging process for its metal frame as opposed to traditional CNC machining.
Another Apple supplier is facing accusations concerning violations of labor rights and lapses in workplace safety.
The supplier in question is Taiwanese company Catcher Technology, which produces the metal casings for iPads as well as parts for the iPhone, plus components for other tech companies. The allegations concern a factory in the Chinese city of Suqian.
Among the accusations raised in a Thursday report by environmental nonprofit Green America and workers’ rights group China Labor Watch are the fact that employees are made to work excessive overtime hours, and handle toxic chemicals without the proper protective clothing.
Sporting a larger screen size, case redesign and various under-the-hood improvements, the iPhone 6 is widely expected to be the biggest refresh of Apple’s smartphone in years. That anticipation is having a major knock-on effect with Apple’s component makers, too.
Based on growth in the Apple-driven smartphone sector, the company had its second best month in history, with monthly earnings of $154.6 million. This marks a whopping 36.8 percent increase compared to the same month in 2013.
With a much larger screen size, the iPhone 6 may be the most radical redesign of Apple’s smartphone ever. But with such a major redesign in the works, there’s a lot that can go wrong, and it looks like something already has: according to reports, defects in the iPhone 6’s metal chassis could lead to short supply of enough devices to go around when it launches in September.
Apple’s much-anticipated iPad mini is expected to make its debut in mid-October, but it may be a little more difficult to get hold of than other iOS devices. According to sources in the Cupertino company’s Taiwanese supply chain, iPad mini shipments are already stumbling due to the low yield rates of the tablet’s aluminum chassis.
DigiTimes reports that Apple’s manufacturing partners in Taiwan are said to be bending over backwards to secure orders for the company’s latest devices by constructing specialized plants that will be dedicated to producing parts and components for the iPad mini and the next-generation iPhone.
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.