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 Vaguely Says 2019 iPhones Are 'Likely to Support USB-C'

Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes has published a report today claiming that 2019 iPhones will come with USB-C support, but the vague wording makes it hard to decipher what they are referring to exactly. Cage Chao and Jessie Shen, citing sources within Apple's supply chain:Apple is redesigning chargers and related interface for its next-generation iPhone and iPad devices, and will likely have its 2019 series of iPhones come with USB Type-C support, according to sources at analog IC vendors.The flashiest take would be that Apple is planning to remove its Lightning connector from iPhones, in favor of a more universally adopted USB-C port, but that perennial rumor has been proven incorrect time and time again. A similarly vague report from The Wall Street Journal last year ignited speculation that the iPhone X would have a USB-C port, for example, but oft-reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo accurately said 2017 iPhones would retain Lightning connectors, with added support for fast charging via USB-C Power Delivery. Given the unlikely possibility of a wholesale switch from Lightning to USB-C, and that the latest iPhones already support USB-C fast charging, the report could be referring to the type of power adapter included in the box. The report adds:Speculation circulated previously in the smartphone market that Apple would adopt Type-C interface in its next-generation iPhone series slated for launch later in 2018. Apple is still in its redesign phase and will not be able to equip the technology in its upcoming iPhones, the sources claimed.The speculation

Apple Set to Tighten Grip on MacBook Supply Chain and Cut Contractor Profits

Apple is set to tighten its control of its MacBook supply chain by directly negotiating prices with third-party suppliers of non-key parts such as screws and plastics, which are required by contract suppliers to produce major components. According to a new report by DigiTimes, industry sources say the move by Apple will significantly reduce profit margins of its contracted supply partners, however Apple has neither confirmed nor denied the move. The Taiwan-based website's sources said that this will be the first time Apple has ever interfered with the procurement of non-crucial materials and parts by its contracted key component producers, who manufacture the processors, panels, batteries, chassis, and heat dissipation modules in Apple MacBooks. Taiwan contracted supply partners of MacBooks were reportedly told of the new policy during a meeting they attended at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino. If enforced in time for MacBook models to be released this year, the policy could erase 10 to 15 percent of profits currently made by contracted producers from the purchases of materials, leaving them with only the contracted MacBook manufacturing fees. Apple has reportedly decided to expand its centralized procurement coverage to include upstream materials such as copper and cobalt, and non-key parts and components from third-party suppliers. The electronics giant will reportedly directly set the prices and order volumes for such materials and minor parts and components, instead of only screening the name lists of qualified third-party suppliers proposed by

Pegatron Tipped to Manufacture Upcoming 'ARM-Based MacBook'

Pegatron has been tipped to land orders from Apple to produce an ARM-based MacBook, according to a brief DigiTimes report out on Tuesday. Citing industry sources, the Taiwan-based website claims the new MacBook model is internally codenamed "Star" and carries the series number N84, but the report mentions no specific production timeline. Pegatron is likely to land orders from Apple to produce an ARM-based MacBook model, codenamed Star with a series number N84, according to industry sources. Pegatron declined to comment on what it called market speculations. The rumor accompanies news of declining net profits of nearly 50 percent in the first quarter of 2018 for Taiwan-based Pegatron, which expects to get growth back on track in the third quarter, "in line with the peak season", implying that the new MacBook model could factor into these predictions. 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, although 9to5Mac has also reported that Apple’s so-called "Star" project could be an ARM-based MacBook. DigiTimes first claimed in January that Apple would release a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook this year, due in the second half of 2018, which would serve as a replacement for the MacBook Air. Two months later, then-KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a research note claiming Apple has a "more affordable MacBook Air" set to be released at some point in 2018. Kuo didn't offer any details on what to expect in an updated

Apple Said to Delay Production of New MacBook Air With Retina Display to Second Half of 2018

Apple has postponed production of its rumored 2018 MacBook Air model to the second half of the year, according to supply chain sources (via DigiTimes). A new version of Apple's most affordable MacBook was expected to go into mass production in the second quarter, but the company has reportedly already informed supply chain partners of the deferment, without revealing its reasoning behind the decision. The sources said that Apple has informed supply chain partners that mass production of its new notebook model for 2018 will not kick off until the second half of the year, yet without explaining the rescheduling move. Some partners speculated that the postponement might be caused by problems with some key components such as processors.DigiTimes was first to report on Apple's intention to release a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook, due in the second half of 2018, which would serve as a replacement for the MacBook Air. Two months later, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a research note claiming Apple has a "more affordable MacBook Air" set to be released at some point in 2018. Kuo didn't offer any details on what to expect in an updated MacBook Air beyond a lower price tag, but DigiTimes believes Apple could upgrade the MacBook Air with a Retina display, which has led to speculation about whether the machine will be an updated MacBook Air or a lower-cost MacBook. Bolstering these claims, Taiwanese site Economic Daily News believes Apple is working on a more affordable version of the MacBook Air with a price point of $799 to $899, while Bloomberg claims

Apple Seeking OLED Display Price Cut From Samsung Amid Rumors Next iPhone X Will Start at $899

Apple wants to reduce the price it pays Samsung for OLED displays used in current and future iPhone X models, according to DigiTimes. The report, citing industry sources, claims Apple is requiring Samsung to lower its price to $100 per panel, down around 9.1 percent from the $110 that research firm IHS Markit estimated the iPhone maker paid in 2017. Rather confusingly, the report first says Apple is negotiating with Samsung about the revised price, but later says it is a requirement. If the price cut is indeed being forced upon Samsung, then Apple likely feels confident in its ability to secure OLED displays from LG as a second supplier, and is thereby benefitting from diversifying its supply chain and making its suppliers compete against each other on price in an effort to win millions of orders. LG is widely considered to be ramping up its OLED display production capabilities in hopes of securing orders for Apple's next-generation iPhone lineup, but a recent report claimed mass production challenges have caused the company to fall behind schedule. It's unclear if those issues have been resolved. Apple is expected to purchase up to 100 million OLED displays from Samsung in 2018, to be used for the current iPhone X, in addition to a second-generation iPhone X and so-called iPhone X Plus expected to launch in 2018. Price cuts to the display and other components would help Apple lower its bill of materials for the iPhone X and future models, and the savings could potentially be passed on to customers. RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani, for

Apple A12 and Snapdragon 700 Chip Production May Lead TSMC to Earn Record Profits in 2018 After All

Last week, Apple supplier TSMC saw its shares decline around nine percent after it cut its full-year revenue growth target to 10 percent, compared to its previous 10-15 percent estimate. The manufacturer blamed the cut on lower-than-expected smartphone demand and growing uncertainty in the cryptocurrency mining market. Apple's stock also declined around four percent on Friday, as many analysts equated the slowing smartphone demand with poor or declining sales of the iPhone X, which has an A11 Bionic chip fabricated by TSMC, in the second quarter. Now, a report from DigiTimes suggests that TSMC may post better-than-projected revenues and profits in 2018 after all, as it gradually ramps up volume production of so-called A12 chips for Apple's next-generation iPhone lineup. The wafers are expected to be manufactured based on TSMC's advanced 7nm process.The sources said that TSMC will see its revenue ratio for advanced 7nm process hit a high of 20 percent in 2018, and may therefore post better-than-projected revenues and profits for the second half of the year and register an annual revenue growth of over 10 percent.TSMC may also benefit from Qualcomm's decision to roll out its new Snapdragon 700 series processors in May, ahead of schedule, according to the report. Qualcomm has allegedly grabbed significant orders from non-Apple smartphone vendors and will have TSMC fabricate the chips in the second half of the year. The report is questionable given that TSMC presumably factored in production of A12 chips into its revenue guidance last week, but the

Apple Working With TSMC to Develop MicroLED Panels for Future Apple Watch and Augmented Reality Wearable Device

Apple has plans in place to develop MicroLED panels for both small-size and large-size devices, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) providing support for producing smaller form factor applications, which could include future Apple Watch models and AR wearables, according to DigiTimes senior analyst Luke Lin. Apple is working with TSMC to develop micro LED panels on silicon-based backplanes for use in the Apple Watch and an augmented reality (AR) wearable device, Lin noted.MicroLED panels use different light-emitting compounds than the current OLED displays and should help to make future devices slimmer, brighter, and less power-hungry. Citing sources in the upstream supply chain, Lin claims Apple is preparing two sizes of MicroLED panel for small devices. They are said to include a 1.3 to 1.4-inch panel for future Apple Watch iterations and a 0.7 to 0.8-inch panel for an AR wearable device, potentially AR glasses. Lin also believes Apple is working on developing large-size MicroLED panels on TFT-based backplates for use in products much larger than those in its current MacBook lineup, although he offered no specifics on what they might be. Based on Lin's sources, the MicroLED panel destined for a future Apple Watch may enter mass production in the second half on 2018 or in 2019, which would suggest its use in Series 4 or 5 models. The large-size panel could see production in 2019 or later, while the panel for the AR device is yet to have a production schedule, according to the analyst. The cost of the new MicroLED panels are said to be

Apple Expected to Trial Production of 2018 iPhone Lineup Earlier to Avoid Last Year's Supply Bottleneck

Apple is expected to begin trial production of a trio of new iPhone models in the second quarter of 2018 at the earliest, as it looks to avoid a repeat of the issues caused by the initial low yield rates on production of 3D sensor modules for the iPhone X last year, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes. iPhone X2, iPhone X2 Plus, and iPhone SE 2 mockup by Curved.de The report, citing supply chain sources, claims Apple's fast-tracking of the trial production will help push ahead the delivery schedules for the 2018 iPhones, meaning it should have more plentiful supply available for pre-orders. The sources cited add that sales of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X have been "lower than expected," but they believe the earlier production will help Apple to "rekindle" its smartphone momentum. Apple's supply chain partners are said to be "generally more optimistic" about order prospects this year. Leading up to the iPhone X launch, multiple reports claimed Apple was having issues with ramping up production of the device. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo pegged the TrueDepth camera system as the primary reason for the supply bottleneck, due to its complex 3D facial recognition technologies. Kuo added that the yield issues began to stabilize by late October, but when pre-orders began on October 27, shipping estimates for the iPhone X quickly fell back to 5-6 weeks around the world. The estimates gradually improved over the following weeks, and the device was fully in stock by mid December. Looking ahead, Apple is widely rumored to launch a so-called iPh

Second-Generation iPhone X Estimated to Cost Apple Up to 10% Less to Manufacture

Apple has managed to reduce the manufacturing cost of its iPhone X successor to a level much lower than the current flagship model, according to DigiTimes' research analyst Luke Lin. Lin cited information from Apple's upstream supply chain as indicating that the new device's MBOM [manufacturing bill of materials] will be more than 10% lower than that for iPhone X. He added that the MBOM of the iPhone X was more than US$400 in 2017.Apple is rumored to be introducing three iPhones in 2018: The first is said to be a second-generation version of the iPhone X, with the same 5.8-inch OLED display, while the second can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus" with a larger 6.5-inch OLED display. Apple is also reportedly planning to introduce a new, more affordable 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display. However, recent engineering samples from the 5.8-inch device are said to show components with lower-level specifications or lower capacities than those of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, with LPDDR memory being one of the major differences. According to Lin, the cost reduction could see Apple position the new 5.8-inch device as the cheapest model of all three next-generation iPhone models. The analyst also believes a project to develop a 5.8-inch LCD iPhone has been suspended since the end of the Lunar New Year holidays in mid-February and may be eventually terminated. Lin reckons weak demand for iPhone X meant Apple needed a lot less OLED panels from Samsung than it said it would, which gave the Korean firm more bargaining power with regards to panel quotes for the next generation of

Apple Likely to Buy 270 Million Display Panels for 2018 iPhone Lineup

Apple plans to order between 250 and 270 million display panels for its iPhone lineup this year, according to sources within Taiwan's panel industry. Around half that number will consist of OLED panels, to be shared among current-model iPhone X orders, a second-generation model, and a larger 6.5-inch iPhone, according to DigiTimes. Apple's purchases of OLED panels in 2018 will reach 110-130 million units, including 70-80 million 5.9-inch units for the current iPhone X and an upgraded version of the same size. The remaining will be 40-50 million 6.5-inch OLED panels for the production of a less expensive model, said the sources.Given the wording in the above quote from today's DigiTimes article, the "5.9-inch" reference could be overlooked as a typo, but claiming the 6.5-inch OLED panels are for a "less expensive model" seems off the mark. Several reliable sources claim Apple is readying a second-generation version of the iPhone X with the same 5.8-inch OLED display, along with a larger "Plus" size with a 6.5-inch display. Design wise, both the 5.8-inch iPhone and 6.5-inch iPhone coming in 2018 are expected to look similar to the current iPhone X, with an edge-to-edge display and notch for the TrueDepth camera, glass bodies for wireless charging support, and dual-lens rear cameras. Along with these two OLED iPhones, which will likely be just as expensive as the current iPhone X, Apple is however said to be planning to introduce a new, more affordable 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display, according to reports. DigiTimes claims 60 to 70 million Low-Temperature

Third Report Says Apple's AirPower Charging Mat Will Launch in March

Apple's new AirPower inductive charging mat will be released by the end of March, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes. The report, citing industry sources, claims the AirPower will have a maximum charging performance of up to 29 watts, compared to 7.5 watts for single-device wireless charging pads like the Belkin Boost Up and the Mophie Wireless Charging Base for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Apple said the AirPower will be released in 2018, but it hasn't provided an exact release date or pricing. Apple blogs Mac Otakara and The Apple Post also reported that the charging mat will be released in March, which is a common month for Apple to introduce new products, including a new 9.7-inch iPad last year. AirPower is an oval-shaped accessory that can inductively charge multiple Apple devices at once, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and Apple Watch Series 3 models. It will also be able to charge AirPods when they are placed in a new inductive charging case set to launch alongside AirPower. The mat's ability to charge multiple devices will be achieved with a propriety technology developed by Apple. Apple said it will work to have its technology become part of the universal Qi standard supported by the latest iPhones. It's still unclear if Apple will announce the AirPower's availability at a March event alongside other new products, via press release, or quietly with an update to its online store. If there is an event planned, Apple will likely send invitations to the media by Thursday at the absolute

New Entry-Level Mac Notebook Expected to Adopt Retina Display, Likely Launch at WWDC in June

Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple is expected to introduce a cheaper MacBook Air sometime during the second quarter of the year, and a few days later a second report backed up Kuo's claims with a claim of a price point starting at $799 or $899. DigiTimes is now reporting that Apple is planning to launch a new 13.3-inch "entry-level MacBook" late in the second quarter of the year, which suggests an introduction at WWDC in June. While DigiTimes calls the notebook a "MacBook," it is unclear whether it would be part of the MacBook or MacBook Air line, but the entry-level nature of the machine and the MacBook's positioning at a similar 12-inch size suggests this new machine might be part of a refreshed MacBook Air family. However the new entry-level machine is marketed, DigiTimes says the pricing will be the same as or slightly higher than the current MacBook Air, which starts at $999, and the machine will include a Retina display.The 13.3-inch a-Si panels for the new notebook feature the same resolution as Apple's 13.3-inch MacBook Pro at 2,560 by 1,600. LG Display will begin supplying the panel in April with the new MacBook scheduled to enter mass production at the end of May or the beginning of June.The report claims that Apple is targeting shipments of six million units of the new notebook through the end of the year, although DigiTimes analysts believe four million is a more likely figure considering the estimated pricing. In addition to the new MacBook Air or MacBook, DigiTimes says Apple is also preparing updated

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