| Cult of Mac

No, Apple isn’t building Chinese spy chips into iPhone 14

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Republicans warn Apple not to use Chinese memory chips in iPhone 14
iPhone 14 will allegedly have RAM chips made by a controversial company.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple will reportedly use RAM chips made by Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. in the iPhone 14 series. This set off a firestorm of complaints from U.S. politicians, including suggestions the chips will somehow be used to surveil Americans.

YMTC is partially owned by the Chinese government and has ties to the Chinese military. There have been calls for it to be added to the U.S. Entity List of companies that face import restrictions.

Heatwave in China may hurt iPad supply

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Future iPhones might need a Vapor Chamber cooling system
It's hot and dry enough in China to affect iPad production.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

It’s hot in China. Hot enough that the government is ordering industries in parts of the country to temporarily halt electrical consumption so there’s enough left for air conditioning. An Apple analyst warns that iPad assembly could be affected.

Apple is expected to launch a redesigned budget iPad and an updated iPad Pro this autumn, and production problems could limit their availability.

Apple will offer hefty discounts on iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and AirPods in China

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6.1-inch iPhone 13 review
Apple will discounts its selected products in China for a limited time.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

In a rare move, Apple will run a four-day promotion in China and offer hefty discounts of up to RMB 600 ($90). The discount will be applicable for iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone SE, Apple Watch SE and AirPods.

The promotion will run from July 29 through August 1.

Your next iPad could come from Vietnam

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iPad Air 5
COVID-19 lockdowns in China force Apple to diversify iPad production.
Photo: Apple

The lockdown in Shanghai and nearby regions, and China’s strict zero-COVID policy, have forced Apple to move some iPad production out of the country and to Vietnam for the first time.

The company already expects to take an $8 billion revenue hit in the ongoing quarter due to supply chain disruptions caused by the Chinese lockdowns.

iPhone 14 Max could be hard to get your hands on at launch

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iPhone 14 Pro concept in white
You could have to wait longer to get your on the iPhone 14 Max
Concept: Jon Prosser/Ian Zelbo

Haitong International Securities analyst Jeffy Pu has provided more insight into the iPhone 14’s production delay and revealed that the production of the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max has been the worse affected by the lockdown in China.

A supply chain report from earlier in the week claimed that iPhone 14’s production was running behind schedule.

Apple wants to make more iPhones and MacBooks outside China

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A new wave of lockdowns in China could put Apple millions of units behind on iPhone production.
Apple wants to expand its product manufacturing outside China
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly looking to expand the production of its devices outside China due to its strict anti-Covid policy.

The Chinese government’s uncompromising zero-covid policy has affected the manufacturing of Apple devices, with shipping times slipping to July for some products.

Apple will start turning prototypes into products outside of China

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A folding iPhone might leave a portion of the screen always exposed.
Turning a design into a product doesn't have to happen in China.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple will increase the number of countries where it does an important phase in developing products, according to a industry analyst. Currently, its R&D-oriented New Product Introduction (NPI) sites are in China, but the company plans to build NPI offices in other places as well.

Recent COVID shutdowns — which have disrupted several recent products — are supposedly the reason for the change.

New China COVID-19 lockdowns could hit iPhone production hard

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A new wave of lockdowns in China could put Apple millions of units behind on iPhone production.
A new wave of lockdowns in China could put Apple millions of units behind on iPhone production.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Analysts note that new COVID-19 lockdowns in China are hitting Apple’s supply chain hard. And the pain will likely worsen, with production falling behind by up to 10 million iPhones.

And this is not just about iPhones. Authorities have halted production at three key suppliers for iPhone, iPad and Mac assembly. Meanwhile, Apple is negotiating to reopen production lines, though success could be hard to come by, according to one analyst Friday.

This follows recent news of assembly and shipping delays on built-to-order MacBook Pro models.

Apple’s biggest iPhone maker closes major plant for another lockdown

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Apple's relationship with Foxconn on the rocks
Foxconn doesn't expect a "major" impact to production.
Photo: Apple

Foxconn, Apple’s largest manufacturing partner, was this weekend forced to close one its biggest plants due to a citywide lockdown. Another COVID-19 outbreak has put all of Shenzhen, China, out of action until March 20 at the earliest.

The city, home to 17.5 million people, houses the Longhua Science & Technology Park — sometimes dubbed “Foxconn City” — which features 15 factories, worker dormitories, grocery stores, restaurants, and more.

Xiaomi wants to beat iPhone by matching its ‘product and experience’

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Xiaomi wants to match iPhone in product and experience
The Chinese company isn't happy Apple is king on its home turf.
Photo: Xiaomi

Xiaomi is in “a war of life and death” with iPhone, according to the company’s CEO, and the only way it’s going to regain its position as the top smartphone-maker in China is by matching Apple’s “product and experience.”

The Chinese company was once famous for taking a little too much inspiration from Apple and rolling out copycat products. It has (mostly) moved away from that in recent years, and it hasn’t helped its market share.