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

China's BOE Considered 'Strong Contender' for OLED Display Orders for Future iPhones, Joining Samsung

An escalating trade war between Japan and South Korea could make Chinese manufacturer BOE Technology a "strong contender" for OLED display orders from Apple, according to industry sources who spoke with DigiTimes. Samsung has been the undisputed leader in OLED display manufacturing, and as a result it has reportedly been the exclusive supplier of OLED displays for the iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max, but the industry sources cited believe the Japanese-Korean trade row could upend its monopoly position. Apple aims to diversify its supply chain as much as possible, often securing at least two suppliers for any given component, but Samsung's lead in OLED display manufacturing has left it with few alternatives so far. LG, for example, reportedly temporarily halted one of its OLED display production lines due to manufacturing challenges earlier this year. LG already supplies OLED displays for the Apple Watch and is widely expected to become a secondary supplier of OLED displays for iPhones when capable to. With at least one of BOE or LG joining the mix, Apple is poised to reduce its supply chain risk and improve its negotiating position. Update: In related news, representatives from tech giants including Apple have traveled to South Korea to measure the impact of the trade war between Japan and South Korea, according to The Korea Herald. The tech giants are said to be "especially worried" about the possible impact on Samsung's DRAM

Apple Readies 3D Sensing Rear Camera Component Supplies for 2020 iPhones

Apple has asked one of its manufacturing partners to ready components for use in rear Time-of-Flight (ToF) camera lenses said to be coming to next year's iPhone lineup, according to DigiTimes. Apple has reportedly asked its supply chain partner to supply VCSEL components for use in rear ToF camera lens in its mobile devices to be released in 2020, according to supply chain sources.Multiple sources have claimed that Apple's 2020 iPhones will include a laser-powered time-of-flight 3D rear camera that will result in significant improvements to AR experiences, including Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. VCSELs, or vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, are a key component of Apple's TrueDepth camera in the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, and power several flagship features like Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfies, as well as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods. However, a ToF camera system is a major step up from TrueDepth due to its more advanced use of laser. TrueDepth relies on a structured-light technique that projects a pattern of 30,000 laser dots onto a user's face and measures the distortion to generate an accurate 3D image for authentication. By contrast, ToF calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects to create a 3D image of the environment. This allows for more accurate depth perception and better placement of virtual objects, and should also result in photos better able to capture depth. Bloomberg says that the rear camera in Apple's 2020 iPhones will be able to scan areas up to 15

DigiTimes: Apple Has Temporarily Stopped Developing AR/VR Headsets, Team Disbanded in May [Updated]

Update: As noted by Jeremy Horwitz, more details are now available on DigiTimes Taiwan, which reports that Apple has "temporarily stopped developing AR/VR headsets." The report claims the team working on them was disbanded in May and reassigned to other product developments. Original story below. Apple has reportedly "terminated" development of its widely rumored augmented reality glasses project, according to DigiTimes. MacRumors concept of Apple Glasses Multiple sources have claimed that Apple plans to release augmented reality glasses as early as 2020, including well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, and CNET, so the DigiTimes report if accurate reflects a cancellation of a major hardware project on Apple's roadmap. DigiTimes preliminary headline DigiTimes has a mixed track record in relation to reporting on Apple's future plans, but it appears to be citing another report in this case. However, the DigiTimes story is currently paywalled behind its "Before Going to Press" section, so we'll have to wait for specific details to be made public. Kuo said Apple's glasses would be marketed as an iPhone accessory and primarily take a display role while wirelessly offloading computing, networking, and positioning to the iPhone. He believed mass production could begin at some point between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020. In November 2017, Gurman reported that Apple's headset would run a custom iOS-based operating system dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system." At the time, he said Apple had not finalized how

3D Touch Again Rumored to Be Removed From All 2019 iPhones

A few months ago, in a research note shared with MacRumors, a team of Barclays analysts "confirmed" that 3D Touch "will be eliminated" in all 2019 iPhones, as they predicted back in August 2018. The analysts gathered this information from Apple suppliers following a recent trip to Asia. The Wall Street Journal floated the same rumor back in January, and now, yet another source suggests 3D Touch is on the chopping block. Namely, Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes today claimed that Apple "may" remove 3D Touch hardware from all 2019 iPhones, citing unnamed industry sources. Apple already introduced software changes in iOS 13 and iPadOS that hint at 3D Touch not being supported on new devices. Specifically, "Quick Actions" menus that float above app icons on the home screen and "Peek" previews of emails, links, messages, and more are now supported on any iPhone or iPad that can run iOS 13 or iPadOS. These features were previously exclusive to iPhones with pressure-sensitive 3D Touch hardware. Both features rely on a long press, aka pressing and holding, meaning this is effectively an expansion of the Haptic Touch functionality that debuted on the iPhone XR last year, although Apple's developer documentation refers to it as the "system-defined touch and hold gesture" on other devices. The ability to invoke Quick Actions menus and Peek previews with a long press in iOS 13 likely foreshadows the removal of 3D Touch from 2019 iPhones, as most of 3D Touch's

Apple Supplier Ramps Up Production of AirPods 2 Parts to Meet High Demand

The manufacturer of rigid-flex printed circuit boards (PCBs) used in Apple's AirPods 2 is ramping up production of the technology into early 2020 at least, despite rumors that Apple will launch two new AirPods models as early as this year with a different internal design. DigiTimes reports that Apple supplier Unitech Printed Circuit Board still sees the rigid-flex PCB combination as the mainstream technology for truly wireless headphones, and will expand its production capacity in Taiwan by 25-30 percent in 2019 to meet increased demand from clients. In contrast, Apple's two new AirPods models are expected to make use of SiP (system in package) technology, which will improve assembly yield rates, save internal space and reduce cost. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts that the two new models will likely go into mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. Kuo has said one of the new AirPods models will feature an "all-new form factor design" and a "higher price" than the second-generation AirPods, which cost $159 with a standard charging case and $199 with a wireless charging case. The other model is expected to be a more iterative update to AirPods 2 with the same pricing. In March 2019, Apple launched its second-generation AirPods powered by an Apple-designed H1 chip, enabling hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality and up to 50 percent more talk time compared to the original AirPods. The second-generation

Report Claims AirPods 3 With Noise Canceling Feature to Launch Later This Year

DigiTimes reports this morning that Apple is set to launch third-generation AirPods with a noise cancelation function by the end of the year, a claim at odds with rumors that Apple's AirPods 3 have been pushed back to 2020. Apple is reportedly set to release its third-generation AirPods for sales by the end of 2019, with the new wireless earphones to incorporate a noise cancellation function. And Taiwan's Inventec reportedly will be the major assembler of AirPods 3, while China's Luxshare Precision will also grab part of the orders for the new device, according to industry sources.Today's report claims that Apple will fend off competition from rival brands of true wireless earbuds by including a noise-canceling function in its third-generation AirPods, although doing so could throw up new design and assembly challenges. The sources said that noise cancellation is not a new technology, but a technology hard to harness. On the one hand, semiconductor devices can hardly work without suffering electromagnetic disturbance, and on the other hand how the structural design of the noise forward feedback microphone can be done well to achieve harmonious operation with other devices is a great challenge for designers and assemblers. In addition, earphones with noise-cancellation function will consume more power than those without, and it remains to be seen how Apple will do to reduce power consumption, the sources indicated.Taiwan's Inventec is said to be uniquely positioned to meet the production challenges of

Apple to Adopt Mini LED Display Tech in Future Macs and iPads [Updated]

Update: MacRumors has received Kuo's research note and it refers to a 31.6-inch monitor as we originally reported. DigiTimes incorrectly referred to this product as a 31.6-inch iMac. There is no mention of an iMac. Apple will switch to mini LED backlighting for a raft of hardware coming over the next three years including a 31.6-inch iMac to be launched in the second or third quarter of 2019, reports DigiTimes this morning. Apple will adopt mini LED backlighting for a 31.6-inch iMac to be launched in the second or third quarter of 2019, a 10- to 12-inch iPad to be unveiled in fourth-quarter 2020 or first-quarter 2021, and a 15- to 17-inch MacBook to be introduced in first-half 2021, according to a analyst Kuo Ming-chi at TF International Securities.Today's DigiTimes report cites comments made by well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo to local media, a machine translation of which we covered on Monday. That report, which carried a warning of possible mistranslation, referred to a 31.6-inch 6K standalone display, but DigiTimes refers multiple times to an iMac with the same dimensions. The report goes on to note that Apple is settling on mini LED technology for its wide color gamut, high contrast ratio, high dynamic range and local dimming. The backlight unit (BLU) to be used in the 31.6-inch iMac will be made of about 500 LED chips of 600 microns in size, with Japan-based Nichia to supply the LEDs, Kuo said. Strictly speaking, this is a quasi-mini LED BLU because the chip size is much larger than

Apple Will Reportedly Launch Three OLED iPhones in 2020 Including Smaller 5.42-inch Model With Thinner Display

Apple plans to launch a trio of OLED iPhones next year that includes smaller and larger-sized models than the current crop of Apple's flagship smartphones, according to sources from Taiwan's supply chain. DigiTimes reports this morning that Apple will release three OLED iPhones in 2020 available in 5.42-, 6.06- and 6.67-inch sizes. Meanwhile DigiTimes' sources indicate that, as expected, this year's three models will follow the screen technologies and sizes of 2018 iPhones; namely, two OLED models with 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch screens, and a 6.1-inch LCD model. In a noteworthy tidbit coming out Taiwan's handset component supply chain, the smallest iPhone model coming in 2020 will reportedly include Samsung or LG touchscreen tech that will allow Apple to make the display of the phone thinner than on previous handsets. Additionally, the 5.42-inch model to be released in 2020 may come with either Samsung Display's Y-Octa or LG Display's TOE touch technology, indicated the sources, noting that both touch solutions promises to trim down the display cost. Y-Octa is an advanced flexible AMOLED display technology that removes the film substrate and allows the touch circuit to be directly patterned on the film's encapsulation layer, making the display thinner, indicated the sources.According to DigiTimes' sources, Samsung will maintain its dominance as the main OLED panel supplier for Apple next year, while it remains to be seen whether LG or BOE Technology can gain OLED panel orders from the company. The same supply chain sources estimate that Apple will ship

AirPower to Launch in 'Late March' According to DigiTimes Sources

Apple plans to release its long-awaited wireless charging mat AirPower in "late March" according to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. We're in late March now, so if the report is accurate, then a release should be imminent. The report cites unnamed "industry sources" within Apple's supply chain:Lite-On Semiconductor, a maker of discrete and analog IC components, is expected to see its second-quarter revenues register a double-digit sequential growth as it will soon kick off volume shipments of GPP (glass passivated package) bridge rectifiers needed for Apple's wireless charger AirPower, according to industry sources. The sources said that Apple's AirPower wireless charger for iPhones, Apple Watch and AirPods is set to be officially launched in late March, which will significantly drive up Lite-On's revenues for the second quarter of 2019.There are 10 days remaining in March including today. DigiTimes has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting the timing of Apple product releases. While the publication has sources within Apple's suppliers in Asia, particularly in Taiwan, supply chain sources are typically more privy to what is coming rather than when. In short, we'll see. There is certainly increasing evidence pointing towards an upcoming release. Yesterday, after receiving a tip from reader Michael Bateman, MacRumors uncovered what appears to be a new image of the AirPower with an iPhone XS and the new AirPods wireless charging case on it. MacRumors also uncovered evidence to suggest that Apple has secured the

Apple Suppliers 'Gearing Up for Mass Production' of Updated iPad and AirPods

Companies in Apple's supply chain are reportedly "gearing up for mass production" of updated iPad and AirPods models, according to Taiwanese site DigiTimes. Flexible PCB firms Flexium Interconnect and Zhen Ding Technology are gearing up for mass production for Apple's next-generation iPad devices, while Compeq Manufacturing and Unitech PCB supply rigid-flex boards for the forthcoming AirPods, according to industry sources.The report says that both updates are expected to come at Apple's March 25 event, although reliable sources have indicated the event will focus on Apple's upcoming news and video services with no hardware announcements planned. Minor hardware updates could come silently alongside the event or via press release around the same time, as DigiTimes's insights via the supply chain are likely limited to production timing rather than event specifics. Hints of an updated low-cost iPad have been growing, with new iPad models appearing in a regulatory database back in January. Rumors have suggested the entry-level iPad could see its display grow from 9.7 inches to around 10.2 inches thanks to slimmer bezels, but we're not expecting to see Face ID and removal of the home button with this update. As for AirPods, we've been hearing about an imminent update for many months now, with Apple's plans seemingly delayed as the company continues work on its AirPower charging mat. Updated AirPods would include a wireless charging case to work with the

New iPads Expected in First Half of 2019, Including iPad Mini 5 With Similar Design as iPad Mini 4

Apple is set to launch new iPad models in the first half of 2019, according to Taiwanese supply chain website DigiTimes. One of those new models is expected to be the so-called iPad mini 5, but anyone hoping for a major redesign should lower their expectations, as Japanese blog Mac Otakara reports that the tablet will have a similar design as the iPad mini 4. The information comes from the blog's discussions with accessory makers. Mac Otakara claims the iPad mini 5 will have identical dimensions as the iPad mini 4, including a thickness of 6.1mm, suggesting that the tablet will have the same 7.9-inch display if bezel size remains unchanged. The blog also expects the tablet to retain a Lightning connector, Touch ID, and 3.5mm headphone jack. One design change expected is the repositioning of the rear microphone to a top-center position in line with the sixth-generation iPad. The report claims it is unclear whether the iPad mini 5 will have an A10 Fusion chip akin to the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and sixth-generation iPad, or an A10X Fusion chip in line with 2017 iPad Pro models and the Apple TV 4K. It's also unclear if the iPad mini 5 will support the original Apple Pencil, but second-generation Apple Pencil support seems to be ruled

Compal Expected to Assemble iPad Mini 5 Launching 'Later in 2019'

Taiwanese manufacturer Compal Electronics is expected to be a supplier of the so-called iPad mini 5 when the tablet launches later in 2019, according to DigiTimes. This would likely entail final assembly of the device. iPad mini 4 Rumors suggest Apple will release the new iPad mini as early as this spring, likely alongside a new seventh-generation iPad with a slightly larger 10-inch display. Apple's plans to release a new iPad mini have been reported by Ming-Chi Kuo, Mark Gurman, DigiTimes, and the China Times. Apple has debuted new iPads in March for three consecutive years, including the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in 2016, the fifth-generation iPad in 2017, and the sixth-generation iPad in 2018, so there's a good chance that Apple will unveil the iPad mini 5 and the new 10-inch iPad in a little over a month from now. Kuo said the new iPad mini will feature an upgraded processor and a lower-cost panel, but few details are known beyond that. The current iPad mini 4 was released in September 2015. The tablet features a 7.9-inch display with 326 PPI, A8 chip, 2GB of RAM, Touch ID, 8-megapixel rear camera, a Lightning connector, dual speakers, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It is available with 128GB of storage for $399 (Wi-Fi) and $529

Next-Gen AirPods With 'Health Monitoring' Features Said to be Coming in First Half of 2019

DigiTimes reports today that Apple will release next-generation AirPods that include "health monitoring features" in the first half of 2019. In terms of wireless headsets, Apple is set to release AirPods 2 sometime in the first half of 2019, and the new wireless earbuds with discrete designs to carry health monitoring functions are expected to receive enthusiastic market responses.The mention appears in an article focusing on how wearables are expected to drive market growth of rigid-flex printed circuit boards (PCBs) in 2019, but the report cites no sources for the AirPods rumor, and only mentions that Tiawan-based PCB makers Zhen Ding Tech and Flexium Interconnect supply components for Apple Watch and AirPods "at the moment." 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. The news site 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. With that in mind, and without corroborating sources, DigiTimes could be referring to a prediction from well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that new AirPods with a wireless charging case would debut late in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early in the first quarter of 2019. Kuo later clarified that report to say that he expects new wireless AirPods in early 2019.

AirPower to Launch 'Later in 2019' According to DigiTimes

Apple's long-awaited wireless charging mat AirPower has entered production and will be released later this year, according to DigiTimes:Glass passivated package (GPP) bridge rectifier orders for Apple's AirPower continue to pull in, according to sources at related suppliers, who expect shipments for the wireless charger to boost further when it becomes available later in 2019. Apple's AirPower is finally in production, said the sources. The Apple-designed wireless charging device was unveiled in September 2017, with the company originally targeting 2018 for launch.The supply chain-focused website published a similar article last year claiming the AirPower would be released by the end of March 2018, a release date echoed by at least two other sources at the time. That obviously did not happen, but perhaps the issues that led to the delay are now resolved. This isn't the first report we've seen that suggests the AirPower is still coming after all. Earlier this month, Hong Kong website ChargerLAB cited sources within Apple's supply chain who claimed that manufacturers Luxshare Precision and Pegatron have both started production of the AirPower by today. Breaking: AirPower is finally coming. We just learned from credible source in supply chain that the manufacture Luxshare Precision has already started producing Apple AirPower wireless charging pad. Luxshare Precision is also the maker of Apple AirPods and USB-C cables. pic.twitter.com/UqgWIAh3sx— ChargerLAB (@chargerlab) January

iPad Mini 5 and New Entry-Level iPad Said to Launch in First Half of 2019

Apple is said to be launching two new tablets in the first half of this year, including the rumored "iPad mini 5" as well as a likely replacement for its current entry-level iPad. DigiTimes made the claim today in a report highlighting stable shipment expectations for Apple's touch panel suppliers, Taiwan-based General Interface Solution (GIS) and TPK Holding. Apple reportedly plans to launch two entry-level tablets in the first half of 2019, including a fifth-generation iPad mini and another entry-level iPad model, said the sources.The claim follows a rumor carried last month by the China Times that Apple is preparing to launch a new iPad mini in the first half of 2019, followed by a new entry-level iPad in two versions, with at least one featuring a 10-inch display within a narrower frame. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed in October that Apple is working on a new version of the iPad mini with an upgraded processor and a lower-cost display panel, with the device being launched in 2018 or 2019. Ironically, Kuo's prediction came two months after DigiTimes said it did not believe Apple plans to introduce an updated iPad mini, and in fact has "no further plan" for the smaller tablet. An alleged case for the next-generation iPad mini also surfaced in December that featured a vertical camera cutout, suggesting a camera arrangement similar to the iPad Pro with a rear flash, and a center microphone cutout. Apple hasn't updated its smallest

Apple Watch Series 4 Expected to Gain Second Manufacturer Following 'Much Better Than Expected' Demand

Taiwanese manufacturer Compal Electronics will begin mass production of Apple Watch Series 4 models in November, according to industry sources cited by supply chain-focused publication DigiTimes. Compal will share orders with fellow Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta Computer, which has reportedly reached its maximum capacity for Apple Watch Series 4 production following "much better than expected demand" for the latest models, according to Apple analyst extraordinaire Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo also said Compal will be added as a second supplier of Apple Watch Series 4 models, which entails final assembly of the wearable. Kuo believes Apple Watch shipments from suppliers to Apple will fall between 18 million and 19.5 million units in 2018. Apple does not disclose Apple Watch sales, grouping the device under its broad "Other Products" category in its earnings reports, alongside the Apple TV, AirPods, HomePod, and so forth. Apple Watch is the world's most popular smartwatch by many metrics, including market share and revenue. In fact, Apple says the Apple Watch is the world's most popular watch of any kind, having surpassed Rolex. Many models of the Apple Watch Series 4 ordered on Apple.com today are estimated to be delivered in late October in the United States, lending credence to strong demand, limited supply, or some combination of the two. With a second supplier coming on board in November, availability should

iPhone XR Could Account for Over Half of New iPhone Sales in Second Half of 2018

Global shipments of Apple's new iPhone lineup should exceed 85 million units in the second half of the year, according to research conducted by DigiTimes, with the more budget-friendly iPhone XR expected to account for over half of all sales. Shipments of the LCD-based 6.1-inch iPhone XR are expected to account for over 50 percent of combined shipments of the new three models being released, although the availability of the iPhone XR will come on October 26 compared to September 21 for iPhone Xs and Xs Max.Total iPhone shipments – including older-generation models – are expected to top 127 million units in the second half of 2018, representing "modest growth" for the tech giant's mobile business. Meanwhile, Apple's total smartphone revenue is likely to reach nearly $100 billion in the second half of the year, which is a 10 percent increase compared to the previous year. The estimates for the new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR are said to be based on supply chain information, combined with Apple's annual sales and the average selling prices over previous years. Apple's lower-spec iPhone XR features an edge-to-edge "Liquid Retina" LCD display with wide color and True Tone support, and the same all-screen design as the OLED-based iPhone Xs and Xs Max, but with an aluminum frame instead of stainless steel. Other downgrades from the iPhone XS that make the XR cheaper include a single-lens rear facing camera instead of the dual lens on the XS, and a lack of 3D Touch support. It comes in White, Black, Blue, Coral, Yellow, and (PRODUCT)Red colors, and will be

2018 iPhone Shipments to Apple This Fall Predicted to Be Highest Since iPhone 6 Lineup

Apple's upcoming trio of iPhones will see an estimated 70-75 million units shipped from suppliers to Apple by the end of 2018, according to supply chain sources speaking to DigiTimes. Thanks to the expected solid performance of the iPhones this year, Apple's main supply partners TSMC and Foxconn are looking forward to new revenue highs in Q4 2018. Specifically, if suppliers hit this range it will be the best performance for an iPhone since the launch of the iPhone 6 models in 2014. One of the main reasons for the boost is given to the "price-friendliness" of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, which Apple is expected to introduce as a cheaper alternative to the other two models: an updated 5.8-inch iPhone X and a larger 6.5-inch "iPhone X Plus," although Apple may not go with the "Plus" branding this year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will use an aggressive pricing strategy for its 2018 iPhone lineup: the 6.5-inch OLED device will be priced at $900 to $1,000, the 5.8-inch OLED second-generation iPhone X will be priced at $800 to $900, and the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will be priced at $600 to $700. While the 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch will be available in September, a few reports have stated the 6.1-inch model will face a delay. DigiTimes also references "smooth production and strong shipment momentum" picking up soon: Most supply chain partners are expected to see revenues pick up significantly along with smooth production and strong shipment momentum before peaking in the fourth quarter of the year. The impressive upgrades in overall designs and functions as well

Apple Adds Two Chinese Manufacturers to MacBook Chassis Supply Chain

Apple has added two China-based manufacturers to its list of MacBook chassis suppliers in an effort to push down prices quoted by Taiwan-based makers, according to a new report today by DigiTimes. China-based Shenzhen Everwin Precision Technology and AAC Technologies are said to have obtained Apple certification in 2017, and this year they began small-volume shipments of the metal-alloy chassis for Apple's notebook line-up. Previous years saw Taiwan-based Catcher Technology, Foxconn Technology and Casetek Holdings dominate the supply of MacBook chassis, and Apple reportedly intends to continue relying on them because of their excellent manufacturing capabilities, but not before it has capitalized on the Chinese makers' lower production costs. DigiTimes' sources indicate that for Taiwan makers, competition from China rivals will have more impact on their gross margins than on order volumes. To offset the impact, Taiwan companies have increasingly sought orders from Chinese brand vendors of high-end devices like laptops. Responding to the rumored potential of Chinese competition for Apple's business, for example, Catcher said its outlook for 2018 remained unchanged. Apple is expected to release a new low-cost MacBook Air later this year that will be similar in design to the current MacBook Air, but with slimmer bezels around the display. Based on the latest rumor, the new machine will be a straight MacBook Air upgrade aimed at students and schools, with a lower price tag than MacBooks in the MacBook family. It remains unclear how a new 13-inch Retina

'Entry-Level' 13-inch MacBook, Redesigned iPad Pros With Faster 18W USB-C Charger Coming in September, But no New iPad Mini

Apple will launch its much-rumored "entry-level" MacBook in September, according to a report by DigiTimes outlining Apple's upcoming product launches. The website says the new MacBook will be priced at $1200, according to industry sources, and will be powered by 14-nanometer Kaby Lake CPU architecture, following delays to Intel's 10-nm rollout. Earlier this year, DigiTimes said that Apple will release the first MacBook Air with a Retina display in the second half of 2018, and claimed that it will be a 13-inch model in a separate report. It also recently said Quanta will assemble new "inexpensive notebooks" for Apple in the fourth quarter. However, the idea of a $1200 MacBook Air leaves the question of a sub-$1000 MacBook offering wide open. TrendForce believes Apple will release a new MacBook Air in September or October, while both Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman expect Apple to release a new entry-level notebook later this year. Whether that's a MacBook or a MacBook Air remains unclear, but Gurman expects at least one of them to have a $999 starting price. Today's DigiTimes report also claims Apple will use the September event to announce the "launch schedule" for its wireless AirPower charger, costing in the region of $160-$190. Apple previewed its multi-device AirPower charging mat at its iPhone X event last September, and confirmed that it will be released at some point in 2018, but it has yet to reveal how much it will cost. An earlier rumor citing "industry insiders" has suggested a price point of around $149. Apple is