| Cult of Mac

Apple suppliers in China eye February 10 restart after coronavirus shutdown


Terry Gou
But there's a definite chance of further delays.
Photo: Foxconn

Apple’s manufacturing partners in China hope to jump back into action next week, after the coronavirus epidemic forced temporary shutdowns in the country, according to a new report.

Foxconn, LG Display and others “plan to resume full-scale production” on February 10. But with the viral outbreak only worsening as the weeks go on, there’s a definite chance of further delays.

Apple wants to cut down on manufacturing in China


Foxconn employees accused of $43 million iPhone scam
Tim Cook meets one of the people working on the iPhone factory line.
Photo: Apple

Apple has reportedly asked its main suppliers to evaluate the cost of shifting 15% to 30% of their production from China to Southeast Asia.

This is a response to the burgeoning China and U.S. trade war, which has already impacted Apple’s share price. If new tariffs go into effect, it could drive up the cost of Apple devices considerably.

HomePod inventories pile up after early demand dies quickly


Apple HomePod volume controls
HomePod sales are already suffering.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has been forced to cut HomePod orders as inventories continue to build up in its retail stores, according to a new report.

The $349 speaker enjoyed a promising start when it made its debut in February, but demand has fallen quickly as smart speaker shoppers turn to more affordable options from the likes of Amazon.

Good luck getting your hands on HomePod this December


Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
HomePod will launch in December, but supplies will be constrained.
Photo: Apple

Apple HomePod manufacturer Inventec Appliances warns that the device will be in limited supply when it launches this December.

Analysts expect the company to ship just 500,000 units by the end of 2017. However, supplies are anticipated to improve in 2018, when Foxconn will help with manufacturing duties.

Apple places orders for its Amazon Echo rival


Standalone Siri speaker could be shown at this year's WWDC.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has reportedly placed the first orders for its standalone Siri smart speaker, a device designed to rival the Amazon Echo.

Inventec, the Taiwan company that makes Apple’s popular AirPods, received the order, which was reported by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News. No order numbers or production timeline have been revealed, although previous reports suggest Apple could unveil the device this June at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

AirPods maker will expand production to meet demand


AirPods in case
AirPods are selling like hot cakes.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple manufacturing partner Inventec is planning to expand its AirPods production capacity to meet strong demand from consumers.

Impressive sales of the hot new wireless earphones over the holiday period are expected to give the Taiwanese firm a boost in revenue, but its plants are already working overtime to deliver Apple’s orders.

Apple seeking another supplier to help build Apple Watch 2


Apple Watch 2 concept by Eric Huismann
One possible concept for the Apple Watch 2.
Photo: Eric Heisuman

Apple is seeking out another manufacturer to help build its upcoming Apple Watch 2, according to a newly published report, citing supply chain insiders.

While Apple currently relies on Quanta Computer to build its first-gen wearable device, the company is said to also be speaking with Inventec, Wistron and Foxconn Electronics — all companies Cupertino has previously worked with — to help build its follow-up smartwatch, which is expected to arrive in the second quarter of 2016.