digitimes.com

DigiTimes is a Taiwan-based website that shares rumors gleaned from Apple's asian supply chain, obtaining information from the suppliers who manufacture parts for iPhones and other Apple products.

DigiTimes' sources often provide reliable information, but the site has a mixed track record when it comes to interpreting that information and accurately deciphering Apple's plans. DigiTimes receives a flood of data from the Asian supply chain, some of which it claims pertains to prototypes or test products that never make it to market or change significantly before launch, skewing its accuracy.

It is often best to view DigiTimes rumors with some skepticism until the info is corroborated by additional sources, especially when it comes to rumors that seem particularly outlandish or implausible.

'digitimes.com' Articles

DigiTimes Predicts Apple's First New Products of 2018 Could Debut Starting in March Like Last Year

Apple refreshes much of its product lineup on an annual basis, and a new report reveals when that process may begin this year. Taiwanese website DigiTimes first claims some suppliers are poised to benefit from new or increased orders from Apple to help produce next-generation iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch models at some point in 2018:Although some Taiwan makers in the iPhone X supply chain have been affected by Apple's move to scale back shipments of the device, some others including Career Technology, E&R Engineering, ShunSin Technology and Superior Plating Technology (SPT) are poised to benefit from new or increased orders from the client to support production of its next-generation iPad, MacBook and Apple Watch models in 2018, according to industry sources.The report then replaces Apple Watch with iPhone in the sentence, and says the new products are slated for debut starting in March:These makers have cutting-edge technologies or have newly tapped into the supply chains of Apple's consumer devices. Among them, SPT, which boasts pearl bright nickel processing technology, is ready to enjoy sizeable orders from Apple, which will incorporate the technology to process adapters for its new-generation iPhone, iPad and MacBook devices, slated for debut starting in March 2018.The timeframe could simply be a guess based on Apple's new product releases last year. In 2017, the company announced a lower-cost 9.7-inch iPad in March by way of press release, alongside (PRODUCT)RED edition iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, and larger 32GB and 128GB storage capacities for iPhone

Apple's New 2018 iPhone Line-up May Consist of Two Phones With LCD Displays and One Larger OLED Model, Claims Analyst

Apple could release just one new OLED-based iPhone alongside two new iPhone models with LCD displays this year, according to a new report today. Previous reports have gravitated towards the view that Apple will launch two new 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLED iPhone models and only one 6.1-inch model with an LCD display. However, Digitimes Research senior analyst Luke Lin believes Apple is increasingly leaning towards releasing two LCD-based models – one between 5.7-inch and 5.8-inches, and another between 6.0-inches and 6.1-inches. Lin also claims the 6.1-inch OLED device Apple is testing is falling out of favor, and the company sees more of a future in a larger 6.4- to 6.5-inch OLED model it is also testing. Apple originally intended to push the two OLED iPhones and the 6.0- to 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, but has recently started leaning toward the combination of the two LCD models plus the 6.4- to 6.5-inch OLED iPhone, abandoning the 6.0- to 6.1-inch OLED model.Such a line-up would be similar to the iPhone range Apple launched last year: Two LCD-based devices in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and the OLED-based iPhone X. Lin believes the four iPhone projects Apple is working on all support wireless charging and 3D sensing functionalities. However, Lin believes Apple has not yet made a final decision on the combination, so the 2x OLED/ 1x LCD iPhone line-up predicted by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo could still play out. Taiwan-based website DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, but its sources within the upstream supply

'iPhone SE 2' With Wireless Charging Said to Launch in May or June

Apple is reportedly working on a new entry-level smartphone model similar to the iPhone SE that will support wireless charging and be released in time for summer 2018. The prediction comes from Digitimes Research analyst Luke Lin, who believes that Apple's iPhone SE successor will have a glass back similar to the iPhone 8 series and iPhone X, but will lack the 3D sensing capabilities of the latter model. For the entry-level sector, Apple is preparing a new inexpensive smartphone similar to the iPhone SE for 2018, featuring the wireless charging functionality, but not 3D sensing. The smartphone will begin mass production in the second quarter with the official launch in May or June, Lin noted.Taiwan-based website DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans. Its sources within the upstream supply chain have proven reliable in the past, but predictions from its research analysts are harder to gauge. Lin doesn't specifically mention the size of the new entry-level model, but the details match up with previous rumors about a forthcoming four-inch 'iPhone SE 2' with a glass back, although earlier speculation said the device would ship in the first quarter of 2018, rather than the second quarter. Rumors about a the specifications of Apple's next small form factor smartphone appeared in August last year, when Indian tech website Tekz24 claimed Apple's next iPhone SE model would have an A10 Fusion chip, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB and 128GB storage capacities, and a slightly larger 1,700 mAh battery. In November, China's Economic Daily

Chinese Smartphone Makers Plan for Mini LED Supply as Apple Expected to Control Majority of OLED Production This Year

Apple's domination of the OLED supply chain is one of the reasons why three Chinese smartphone makers are seeking out alternative display technology in future handsets, according to a report today by DigiTimes. Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi are planning to adopt mini LED-backlit panels in smartphones launched later in 2018. The three companies believe that Apple "may extend use of AMOLED panels" to iPhones coming in 2018 and occupy even more of Samsung Display's production of the OLED displays. Apple's entry in smartphone OLED displays began with the manufacturing of the iPhone X last year and is expected to increase in 2018 with the second-generation iPhone X and 6.5-inch "iPhone X Plus," which should lead Apple to significantly increase OLED display orders thanks to the larger size. The company has also implemented OLED displays into the Apple Watch. Instead of attempting to fight for OLED display supply against Apple, the China-based smartphone makers are turning towards mini LED this year. The companies have reportedly asked Taiwan-based suppliers to begin producing mini LED backlighting in June 2018 in anticipation of products that would debut in the second half of 2018. Industry sources noted that technological advances in mini LED product designs have the potential to cut production costs, further boosting the smartphone makers' readiness to adopt the technology. Besides Samsung Display, a report earlier in the month suggested that Apple will add LG Display to its OLED supply chain to help build 6.5-inch panels for the iPhone X Plus. Samsung was the sole

TSMC is Reportedly Exclusive Supplier of A12 Processors in 2018 iPhones

Apple has reportedly selected Taiwanese manufacturing company TSMC to remain its exclusive supplier of so-called "A12" processors for a trio of new iPhone models expected to launch in the second half of 2018, according to DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed sources within Apple's supply chain, claims the A12 chip will be manufactured based on an improved 7nm process, which should pave the way for the type of performance improvements we see in new iPhones each year. TSMC is already the exclusive supplier of A11 Bionic chips for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, and it was also said to be the sole manufacturer of A10 Fusion chips for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. If the report is accurate, it would be a loss for Samsung, which has been attempting to win back orders from Apple for around two years. Both Samsung and TSMC supplied Apple with A9 chips for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE, but Apple has relied upon TSMC as its sole supplier for newer devices. The Korea Herald last July reported that Samsung had secured a deal to supply some of the A12 chips for new iPhones in 2018, but two days later, DigiTimes reported that TSMC was still likely to obtain all of the next-generation A-series chip orders for Apple's upcoming 2018 series of iPhones. TSMC's in-house InFO wafer-level packaging is said to make its 7nm FinFET technology more competitive than Samsung's. Our own Chris Jenkins provided an in-depth technical look at this package process last

Apple Reportedly Working Towards Mass Production of Thinner and Brighter Micro-LED Displays

Apple is collaborating with its Taiwanese supplier TSMC to solve manufacturing issues preventing volume production of micro-LED display panels, according to DigiTimes.Apple is reportedly collaborating with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to develop applications based on silicon-based backplanes (silicon wafers) aiming to sidestep the bottleneck that entails with the mass transfer of LED chips, indicated the sources.Once micro-LED displays can be mass produced both reliably and affordably, the panels could be used in future Apple devices. Apple's use of micro-LED would likely begin in 2019 at the earliest, possibly starting with the Apple Watch, should it choose to proceed with the technology after trial production. In the meantime, the report claims Apple has downsized its micro-LED research and development team at its laboratory in northern Taiwan. The downsizing doesn't necessarily mean that Apple has delayed or given up development of the next-generation display technology. In addition to its work with TSMC, it's possible that Apple has shifted the bulk of its micro-LED research back to its headquarters in the United States. Apple's interest in micro-LED was first reported in late 2015, when it was discovered that the iPhone maker opened a secretive laboratory in Taoyuan, Taiwan to research display technologies like OLED and micro-LED for future devices. OLED is currently used in the Apple Watch and iPhone X. Apple acquired micro-LED display maker LuxVue Technology in 2014, and some of its employees may be part of Apple's micro-LED research

Win Semiconductors Helping Lumentum Make iPhone X's Dot Projector

Taiwanese manufacturer Win Semiconductors has reported a nearly 24 percent increase in third quarter revenue on a year-over-year basis, driven by the supplier's indirect foray into the iPhone X supply chain, according to DigiTimes. The firm's consolidated revenues hit a record monthly high of about $1.6 billion in local New Taiwan dollars in September, an increase of 13.4 percent from a month earlier and 44.74 percent from a year ago, the report said. Win Semiconductors reportedly handles production of the VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) component for Lumentum, which is believed to be one of Apple's primary suppliers for its new TrueDepth facial recognition system.Market sources said that after beating several competitors, Lumentum is now the only company that has won orders from Apple for VCSEL component as part of 3D sensing modules for iPhone X. As a contract manufacturer of the component, Win Semiconductor has enjoyed stable expansion in VCSEL shipments to Lumentum.The report, citing sources from Apple's supply chain, said that Win Semiconductors as an indirect supplier has not seen its VCSEL shipments affected by the low yield rates the TrueDepth system is rumored to be

iPhone X Production Supposedly Going Much Slower Than Apple Originally Planned

Apple has instructed some of its suppliers to slow down delivery of iPhone X components, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed sources from within Apple's supply chain, claims the suppliers are now shipping only about 40 percent of the components originally planned for the initial production of the iPhone X. Apple is allegedly waiting to see how many iPhone X pre-orders it receives, and monitoring how well the already-released iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus sell, before fully ramping up production overseas. However, the report mentions some suppliers still need to step up production to meet the 40 percent requirement due to low yield rates at their production lines, which is the more likely reason for the slowdown. Essentially, since some suppliers are manufacturing iPhone X parts more slowly than others, Apple could be capping shipments from all suppliers so it has an equal number of all components when the device launches in just under six weeks. Whatever the case may be, this report provides yet another indication that the iPhone X is proving especially challenging to make. Just one day before the device was unveiled, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said iPhone X production totaled fewer than 10,000 units per day. In a follow-up research note, Kuo said the device is unlikely to achieve complete supply-demand equilibrium until at least the first half of next year. All signs point towards overwhelming demand for the iPhone X. Earlier today, Kuo said pre-orders may exceed 40-50 million units. Lower adoption of the

Apple Takes Early Step Towards iPhones With 'Above 12-Megapixel' Rear Cameras

Apple reportedly has booked production capacity for "above 12-megapixel" camera lens modules at a new factory being built by smartphone lens maker Largan Precision in Taichung, Taiwan, according to DigiTimes. The report, citing "market rumors," claims Largan is the only supplier that can meet Apple's minimum yield rate. The new factory is reportedly designed to accommodate monthly production of 600 million lens modules. Largan will allegedly start production in October 2017, suggesting the camera lens modules could be destined for future iPhone models released in 2018 or later, rather than the so-called iPhone 8 this fall. It is widely rumored that the iPhone 8 will have a vertically-aligned dual-lens rear camera, with optical image stabilization for both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses, but no credible rumors have surfaced about its quality. Apple improves its iPhone cameras each year, so an increased megapixel count of some kind is certainly still possible this year. Apple's latest iPhone and iPad models, including the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, are all equipped with 12-megapixel rear-facing cameras and 7-megapixel front-facing cameras. Keep in mind that megapixels don't always matter, as even a TV or monitor with 4K Ultra HD resolution of 3,840×2,160 pixels only has roughly 8.3 megapixels, which isn't enough to display a 12-megapixel photo at full resolution. Nevertheless, if this rumor is accurate, then perhaps we'll see an iPhone with a 16- or 18-megapixel rear camera or higher in the

Apple Watch Series 3 Expected to Debut in Fall 2017, Boosting Manufacturing Partner Quanta's Revenue

Apple has sourced Quanta Computer as the primary manufacturer of the Apple Watch since the original wearable device began a production ramp-up in late 2014/early 2015 for its official launch in the spring of 2015. The supplier was again the sole source of Apple Watch manufacturing for the Series 2 models in 2016, and a new article out today by Chinese-language site Economic Daily News has echoed previous reports that stated Apple will yet again keep Quanta as its main Apple Watch supplier for the so-called "Apple Watch Series 3." The move is expected to lead Quanta into a "strong" second half of 2017, further cementing the next-generation Apple Watch's debut this upcoming fall (via DigiTimes). Additionally, Quanta's income towards the end of the year is poised to rise thanks to the manufacturer's supply of notebooks and servers, but the Apple Watch Series 3 is described as one of the company's biggest assets. Secondary to Quanta, EDN's report today cited market watchers who believe Compal will also be sourced as an Apple Watch supplier this year, but with a focus on older-generation models and not including Series 3. Quanta Computer is expected to enjoy a strong second-half 2017 thanks to rising demand for notebooks, growing server sales and the release of the next-generation Apple Watch, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report. Apple is reportedly planning to launch its third-generation Apple Watch in 2017 and the wearable is likely to help Quanta's Apple Watch product line turn profitable. Although Compal Electronics reportedly has

Latest Report Claims All New iPhone Models Facing Production Delays

Reports of delays to Apple's upcoming iPhone line-up continued this week, with the Chinese-language Economic Daily News claiming on Monday that production of the so-called "iPhone 8" will not start until between November and December, with production of the more typical "S" cycle upgrades to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also potentially facing delays. According to the report, the flagship redesigned OLED iPhone will ship only in small volumes this year, because yield rates at the main manufacturing plants have still not reached the mass production stage. While there were previous reports indicating that volume production for new iPhone devices has commenced, yield rates at the two main ODMs, Foxconn Electronics and Pegatron, have not yet reached levels that warrant mass production, the report said.Reports of iPhone delays typically happen every year and don't tend to pan out, but on balance we seem to be seeing more than usual this time around, apparently spurred by claims that Apple has found its redesigned handset particularly challenging to finalize, whether that's because of the intricacies of the customized OLED panel and other key components leading to low or staggered supplies, or problems integrating the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently published a report supporting claims that Apple will debut the OLED iPhone in September, but the device will face "severe supply shortages" for some time. Kuo believes that production ramp-up on the OLED iPhone model won't begin until as late as October-November, two months later than

Low OLED Panel Yield Could Cap 'iPhone 8' Availability at 4 Million Units at Debut

Shipments of Apple's upcoming "iPhone 8" could be delayed because of low yield rates at assembly plants and a limited supply of OLED display panels, according to a report published on Tuesday. DigiTimes cited industry sources predicting that the shipments could end up behind schedule because of the issues, despite chipset suppliers delivering parts early and an increased recruitment drive by companies in the assembly line. iPhone 8 render by @VenyaGeskin1 The latest speculation comes even though chipset suppliers have begun delivering related parts to the iPhone supply in the second quarter, and iPhone assemblers Foxconn Electronics, Pegatron and Wistron have been stepping up efforts to recruit more workers for their assembly lines in China, said the sources.As covered previously on MacRumors, Samsung is the main supplier of display panels for Apple's 5.8-inch OLED iPhone, with Apple reportedly having ordered 70 million units from the company this year. However, although Samsung Display has promised to fully support Apple with regards to the supply of OLED panels, DigiTimes' sources are now claiming only 3 to 4 million OLED-based iPhones will be ready for shipping before the new smartphones are unveiled at a product event slated for September. Judging from the current supply of OLED panels, it will be difficult for Apple to ship up to 50-60 million OLED-based new iPhones in 2017, the sources indicated.There have already been rumors suggesting the OLED iPhone will be in short supply when it launches, with the majority of the stock unavailable until later in the

Apple Said to Aim for Trial Production of Micro-LED Displays by End of 2017

A new report posted by DigiTimes today has taken a look into the micro-LED ambitions of multiple companies, including the timeline by which Apple might begin its trial production of micro-LED displays. Although it's yet to be confirmed, Apple is likely to use such display technology on a version of the Apple Watch launched in 2018 or later. The report, citing industry sources, states that Apple's current aim is to manufacture a "small volume" of products with micro-LED displays towards the end of this year. Reports over the past few weeks have referenced similar timelines for Apple's micro-LED plans, and today's news also corroborates the location of Apple's trial production run, expected to be housed in a plant in Taoyuan, Taiwan. A few makers engaged in R&D for micro LED display products, despite many technological bottlenecks, are expected to take the initiative to begin trial production in the second half of 2017 at the earliest, according to industry sources. Apple has been keen in the development of micro LED technology following its acquisition of LuxVue in 2014, and recent market speculations also indicate that Apple is likely to crank out a small volume of micro LED display products from its plant in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan at the end of the year. Rumors of an Apple Watch with a micro-LED display began last summer, when it was suggested that such a device may launch in 2017, but with the current reports of late-in-the-year trial productions on micro-LED displays it's likely that the 2017 "Apple Watch Series 3" will continue to use OLED technology. In

Apple Said to Be Increasing Production of Rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro

Apple is said to be boosting production of its upcoming 10.5-inch iPad Pro, making launch of the new form-factor tablet over the next couple of months increasingly probable, according to sources in the Taiwanese supply chain. DigiTimes reported on Friday that shipments for the company's 10.5-inch iPad Pro are expected to increase to 600,000 units in July, up from around 500,000 units currently, with annual shipments said to reach 5 million units this year, said market watchers. Previously, reports suggested Apple's manufacturing partners reportedly began limited production of the new-size tablet in March, but rumors have lacked consensus regarding when Apple will launch the device, with suggestions of an early April event having failed to materialize. However, since that time, noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed there is a "greater than 70 percent chance" that Apple will unveil the long-rumored tablet at WWDC in June, based on the timing of production ramp-up. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is expected to have a similar form factor as the current 9.7-inch model, but squeezes in a larger display thanks to narrower bezels. Analysts say Apple is hoping the device will mark the company's resurgence in the tablet market, given that sales of iPads have declined for 13 consecutive quarters, with consumers seeing little reason to upgrade the tablets they already own. However, at least one Apple pundit has suggested the company could wait until October to launch the 10.5-inch iPad, in order to avoid spoiling the design of the much-rumored "iPhone 8" with

Intel Rumored to Debut Basin Falls Platform in May, Launch Coffee Lake Chips in August

Intel plans to move up the launch of its 14-nanometer Coffee Lake processors, introducing them in August of 2017 instead of January 2018. According to DigiTimes, the launch is being moved up because of "increasing competition from AMD's Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors." The site says Intel will release several K-series Core i3, i5, and i7 processors starting in August, along with its Z370 chipsets. Additional CPUs will come at the end of 2017 or early in 2018. Intel also plans to unveil its Basin Falls platform, with Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors at Computex 2017, which takes place from May 30 to June 3, which is two months earlier than originally scheduled. Intel's Skylake-X series features 140W processors with 6, 8, and 10-core architectures, while Kaby Lake X-series features a 112W quad-core processor. Intel also plans to release a 12-core Skylake-X processor in August. Intel's Basin Falls platform could potentially be used in future Mac Pro machines and the rumored high-end server-grade iMac. Coffee Lake chips appropriate for Apple machines were originally set to launch somewhere around the second quarter of 2018, so if rumors of Intel's updated timeline are true, the launch could be moved forward to either late 2017 or early in 2018. Coffee Lake chips are manufactured on Intel's 14-nanometer process and will be the fourth processor family to use the architecture after Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lake. Apple is rumored to have new machines in the works for 2017, including new iMacs, which are likely to use Kaby Lake

'Apple Watch Series 3' Models Expected in Second Half of 2017 With September Launch Likely

The next-generation Apple Watch is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2017, according to supply chain newspaper DigiTimes. The timeline matches a Chinese-language Economic Daily News report that claimed new Apple Watch models will be unveiled in the third quarter of 2017, aka fall, with battery life and performance improvements. Apple Watch Series 2 models and slightly upgraded Series 1 models launched in September alongside the iPhone 7, so it is reasonable to assume that Series 3 models could launch in September as well. The original Apple Watch, now dubbed Series 0, launched in April 2015. In addition to a faster processor and longer battery life, cellular connectivity has been a long-rumored addition to the Apple Watch, and SIG analyst Christopher Rolland believes LTE capabilities could be included in Series 3 models. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also said LTE could be added as early as 2017. With a cellular connection, Apple Watch owners would not need a paired iPhone nearby to do things like make phone calls or stream Apple Music content, but a separate data plan from a carrier would likely be needed. Apple is also expected to switch to a glass-film touchscreen this year in place of the current touch-on-lens solution, but it is unclear if this change would have any obvious consumer-facing benefits. The overall design of the Apple Watch has not changed since the original models launched in April 2015, but one report yet to be substantiated claims Series 3 models will have few if any significant hardware changes. Apple has instead

Apple Has a Redesigned Fingerprint ID Solution For the iPhone 8

Apple is set to feature its own in-house developed integrated fingerprint ID technology in the OLED version of its next iPhone, according to a new report out on Friday. Apple's upcoming "iPhone 8" is expected to feature a virtual home button embedded in the display, but questions persist over the role of Touch ID in such a radical redesign, as conflicting reports from analysts, rumors of biometric alternatives, and Apple patents abound. Today, DigiTimes cited industry sources claiming that an Apple-designed "built-in fingerprint sensor device" is indeed on the way, and will replace the traditional capacitive touch technology known as Touch ID. Apple has selected neither Synaptics' Natural ID touch fingerprint sensor nor Qualcomm's Sense ID fingerprint technology for its new OLED iPhones, and decided to use its own Authentec algorithm combined with Privaris glass identification technology to redesign a new fingerprint ID solution, according to industry sources.Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor technology originally came from AuthenTec, which Cupertino acquired in 2012, while the Privaris reference harks back to a patent portfolio Apple bought from the closed biometric security firm in June 2015 that included dozens of patents relating to fingerprint and touchscreen technology, including – in at least one example – the ability to use a touchscreen and fingerprint reader at the same time. DigiTimes has sources within Apple's supply chain, but it has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's unannounced product plans, so this latest report should be treated

10.5-Inch and 12.9-Inch iPads May Not Ship Until May or June

The 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads that Apple is expected to debut at a March event aren't expected to ship until May or June, supply chain sources tell DigiTimes. An entry-level 9.7-inch iPad, however, is expected to ship within close proximity of the March event. In January, DigiTimes reported that the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPads were expected to enter mass production in the Q2 of 2017 while the 9.7-inch iPad would enter mass production in Q1 2017. The potential release dates partly line up with a recent report from Mac Otakara, which said the 10.5-inch iPad may not be ready to ship until May. However, that report said the three other iPad models rumored to debut at the March event, new 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPads, are expected to ship in March. 12.9-inch iPad shipments have been drying up around the world in recent weeks, slipping to shipping estimates of 2-3 weeks in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany and Japan. While increasing shipping times are a sign of an impending refresh, in this case it seems to be a supply issue. During Apple's latest earning call, CEO Tim Cook said that the company underestimated iPad demand in the past quarter and had an issue with one of its suppliers. Cook said the issue would probably not be resolved this quarter, likely leading to shriveling 12.9-inch iPad stock. Similarly, the supply issue could keep the refreshed 12.9-inch iPad from shipping before May. The new 10.5-inch model is expected to be the flagship model in Apple's new iPad lineup, sporting an edge-to-edge display on the same

New Touchscreen for 'Apple Watch Series 3' Said to Enter Production Later This Year

The tentatively named "Apple Watch Series 3" will feature a new glass-film touchscreen in place of the current touch-on-lens solution, with shipments to begin in the second half of this year, according to Taiwan-based DigiTimes. While it remains unclear if the switch to a film-based solution will have any obvious consumer-facing benefits, this is more interestingly the first rumor to surface about the supply chain ramping up for the next Apple Watch. The timeline matches a Chinese report last month that claimed the third-generation Apple Watch will be unveiled in the third quarter of 2017 with battery life and performance improvements. The report said Series 3 models, to be manufactured by Quanta, will lack any significant hardware changes. Few other details are known about the next Apple Watch models, which could feasibly launch alongside the "iPhone 8" in September. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources have claimed the Apple Watch could gain an LTE chip for cellular capabilities as early as 2017, while a supply chain report last year said Apple may switch from OLED to micro-LED displays for the Apple Watch in the second half of 2017 at the earliest. Micro-LED displays have benefits such as thinness, lightness, improved color gamut, increased brightness, and higher resolutions. The panels do not require backlighting like traditional LCD displays, but they can be difficult and expensive to mass produce. Micro LEDs range in size from 1-micron to 100-micron. Apple has filed patents for a number of ideas that could eventually be included in

iPhone 7s Said to Keep Aluminum Design as iPhone 8 Gets Glass With Stainless Steel Frame

Apple's next-generation smartphone lineup this year will include a 4.7-inch iPhone with aluminum casing, 5.5-inch iPhone of an unspecified material, and all-new 5.8-inch iPhone with glass casing reinforced by a stainless steel frame, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes, which keeps tabs on Apple's supply chain. iPhone 8 concept by visual designer Moe Slah The report, citing "sources from the upstream supply chain," claims the 5.8-inch model is expected to adopt an OLED display, and for that reason the smartphone is estimated to cost upwards of $1,000. DisplayMate Technologies outlined the several advantages of OLED display technology when it tested Samsung's Galaxy S7 last year. Namely, the displays are typically brighter and more power efficient than LCDs with better color accuracy, faster response times, wider viewing angles, and improved image sharpness. The trio of unreleased smartphones have commonly been referred to as the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8, with the high-end model sometimes called the "iPhone X" instead in line with the smartphone's tenth anniversary this year. The smartphones are expected to launch in September per usual. While it is widely believed that Apple will release three new iPhone models this year, rumors surrounding the lineup have so far lacked consensus. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities and Japanese website Nikkei, for example, have both said that all three models will feature glass casing. Japanese website Mac Otakara, however, said the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models will retain an aluminum design