Apple faces big challenges in building a supply chain in India

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india
Apple is doing all it can to grow in India.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Apple became a trillion-dollar tech giant thanks to its deep and intricate ties to China for manufacturing and component supplies.

But a coronavirus that began in China has left that giant a little shaky on its feet and dizzy from renewed questions over why Apple hasn’t developed a more diverse strategy for building the world’s most popular personal computing devices.

It’s definitely not from a lack of trying as pointed out Thursday in an article by The Information, which took a deep-dive into Apple’s arduous path through India.

AirTags on the radar for roll out in the second half of 2020

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New evidence shows AirTags closer than ever to release
Here's how AirTags will work on your iPhone.
Photo: MacRumors

Apple’s fall product launch will include a tiny gadget with a big responsibility: knowing the whereabouts of your devices when you lose them.

AirTags, a circular Bluetooth tracking keychain attachment similar to Tile, got on the radar of supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who reported news Tuesday on the supplier charged with producing the circuitry.

Apple reportedly adding another supplier for its ultra-popular AirPods Pro

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Apple reportedly adding another supplier for its ultra-popular AirPods Pro
Apple is doing its darndest to keep up with demand.
Photo: Apple

Apple is seemingly having a supplier shakeup to kickstart the 2020s — with Cupertino shifting production for some of its biggest products to other manufacturers. Including adding another supplier for its ultra-popular AirPods Pro.

According to longtime Apple analyst Ming-Chi, Apple will be making changes to the suppliers of the AirPods Pro, the S-series chips for the next-gen Apple Watch, the iPod touch and the non-cellular iPad.

Apple accused of exploiting underage labor in the Congo

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Apple accused of exploiting underage labor in the Congo
Underage labor was used for mining in the Congo.
Photo: Jeff Keyzer/Flickr CC

A lawsuit from plaintiffs from the Democratic Republic of Congo claims that Apple is among the companies willfully exploiting the use of underage labor for cobalt mining for lithium-ion batteries.

It claims that “young children” are being forced to work full time dangerous mining jobs. They are “regularly maimed and killed” by hazards such as tunnel collapses.

Wall Street worries put the hurting on Apple’s suppliers too

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iPhone 8 Foxconn box
A whole lot of companies rely on Apple.
Photo: Feng

It’s not just Apple which relies on, well, Apple to make money. There’s a whole ecosystem of other companies orbiting the giant Cupertino sun, too. And they’re all affected by whatever news raises or lowers Apple’s share price.

That’s what took place this week when Wall Street’s latest wobble about Apple sent out shockwaves through the supply chain. As a result, a whole lot of companies which do business with Apple suffered their own sympathy stock declines.

Huawei spies reportedly tried to get their hands on Apple secrets

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Chinese company Huawei wants the media buzz that would come with releasing the world's first foldable phone.
Report claims that Huawei tried to get information from Apple suppliers.
Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr CC

Huawei may have overtaken Apple in terms of overall smartphone sales, but it apparently believes it’s still got a lot to learn from the Cupertino giant.

According to a new report, Huawei tried to glean information about future Apple products from supply chain sources. This information included details about the Apple Watch’s heart rate-tracking tech and MacBook Pro connector cables.

Apple has a new plan for cutting down manufacturing costs

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MacBook butterfly keyboard
Apple is now handling ordering for even tiny components like MacBook screws.
Photo: Apple

Apple is known for exerting a lot of control over the manufacturing of its products, and it’s reportedly set to ramp up this control even further.

Beginning with its new MacBook models, Apple will reportedly carry out direct pricing negotiations for the screws and assorted non-key metallic and plastic parts used on its devices, which are currently purchased directly by its contracted supply partners.

Does iPhone X show that Apple’s ‘lost its supply chain mojo’?

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iphone X3
Apple's supply chain may no longer be quite so brilliant.
Photo: Apple

Apple has “lost its supply chain mojo,” claims a new report, suggesting that this year’s iPhone refresh has highlighted that Apple’s once-enviable supply chain brilliance is no longer quite so, well, brilliant.

While there have been component issues Apple has dealt with in the past, this year’s iPhone X manufacturing process has been particularly prone to problems, with the upshot being that supply of the in-demand device is unlikely to match with demand until well into 2018.

Apple Watch competition hots up with second supplier

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Apple Watch
It will deliver a big boost to one Apple supplier.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has reportedly added a second Apple Watch supplier to its manufacturing chain.

Until now, Quanta Computer has been the only assembler of Apple’s wearable, but Compal Electronics is expected to begin shipping Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 units in the second half of 2017.