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Nikkei Dubiously Says AirPods Charging Case 'Will Soon Be Able' to Wirelessly Charge an iPhone

An upcoming version of the AirPods charging case will be able to wirelessly charge a compatible iPhone, according to Nikkei Asian Review, although proceed with skepticism, as there's a good chance the report is off the mark. The first paragraph from Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li, in a report titled "Apple to unveil iPhone wireless charging with AirPods":Users of iPhones will soon be able to wirelessly charge their handsets using the charging case for Apple's popular AirPods wireless earphones, according to an industry source familiar with the plan.The report claims the charging case could be available as soon as the end of this year, although the timeframe is subject to change. The report adds:The development would add to Apple's much-anticipated AirPower wireless charging mat, unveiled last year and due out soon, bringing chief designer Jony Ive's call in 2016 for a "truly wireless future" a step closer. Apple has previously said it is working on a wireless charging case for AirPods that could also be topped up with the AirPower pad, though it gave no further details.It's not entirely clear if the report is referring to the same AirPods charging case that Apple previewed alongside the iPhone X last year. Apple said that optional accessory will be released in 2018 alongside its AirPower charging mat. All in all, it's a rather strange report that inspires a lot of questions. Would a user hold or lay their iPhone against the AirPods charging case? The case's current floss-container-like design means that the iPhone would need to be precisely balanced on top of it,

Samsung to Slash OLED Panel Production on 'Weak Demand' for iPhone X, Claims Nikkei

Samsung plans to slash its OLED panel output in response to Apple's decision to cut production of iPhone X due to "weak demand", the Nikkei Asian Review reported on Tuesday. Samsung will make OLED panels for 20 million fewer iPhones at its South Chungcheong plant in the January to March quarter, a lot lower than its original goal of supplying panels for 45 million to 50 million iPhones, according to the paper. Samsung is said to have made a 13.5 trillion won ($12.6 billion) capital investment in anticipation of the originally expected number of OLED panel orders from Apple. The new target reportedly reduces plant production to roughly 60 percent of original forecasts, and Samsung's display business is expected to suffer revenue declines for the first half of 2018. Samsung stock fell as much as 2.3 percent in morning trade, reported Reuters, while shares of some Japanese OLED component makers also declined. Today's report follows previous claims by Nikkei that "weak demand" for iPhone X has forced Apple to slash its production target by half in the three month period from January. However the claim doesn't tally with Apple's own results reported at its recent quarterly conference call earlier this month, and it's unclear which supply chain sources the publication is relying on. Apple CEO Tim Cook has dismissed these types of reports in the past, suggesting that the company's supply chain is very complex and that any singular data point is not a reliable indicator of what's actually going on. During its record financial results report for the first fiscal quarter

Apple's Decision to Slash iPhone X Production Volume in Q1 2018 Could Delay Future OLED Models

Apple is set to halve its 40 million iPhone X production target in the three month period from January, reported Nikkei Asian Review on Monday without naming a source. The U.S. tech giant notified suppliers that it had decided to cut the target for the period to around 20 million units, in light of slower-than-expected sales in the year-end holiday shopping season in key markets such as Europe, the U.S. and China. The iPhone X, Apple's first smartphone equipped with an organic light-emitting diode display, has failed to catch on globally -- something many put down to a price tag starting at $999.Part of the reason for the high price tag of iPhone X is said to be down to the cost of OLED panels made by Samsung, which is the only supplier of the component that can guarantee Apple a steady supply of the screens. According to Nikkei, Apple is now considering an increase to the proportion of LCD iPhone models by reducing production of the OLED screen models scheduled for release this year. Apple is expected to launch a trio of new iPhone models in 2018, including 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch models with OLED displays and a 6.1-inch model with an LCD display, according to respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. However, at least one other analyst has predicted that the LCD-to-OLED ratio this year will actually be 2:1. DigiTimes' Luke Lin believes Apple is increasingly leaning towards releasing two LCD-based models and a single larger 6.4- to 6.5-inch OLED model. Indeed, today's Nikkei report claims lackluster sales for iPhone X could actually result in a delay to

Taiwanese Apple Suppliers Face Falling Stock Prices Amid Ongoing Concern Over Weakened iPhone X Demand

Three major Apple suppliers faced falling stock prices on the Nikkei Asia300 Index today, believed to be directly related to "concerns over demand for iPhone X." The three Taiwanese suppliers were Largan Precision, Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn), and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, dropping 4.4 percent, 1 percent, and 3 percent on the index, respectively. iPhone X demand concerns and decline in supplier stock prices came after the latest analyst report by JP Morgan yesterday, predicting "slashed" iPhone X orders in the first part of 2018. In a research note reported by CNBC, analyst Narci Chang said "high-end smartphones are clearly hitting a plateau this year," singling out Apple by forecasting that iPhone X manufacturing "might be down 50 percent quarter-over-quarter." Reports of "weakened" iPhone X demand heading into 2018 began emerging late last year, mainly stemming from analyst belief that the high price of the device would eventually lead to reduced sales after early adopters got their iPhone X. These reports have caused several Apple suppliers to be anxious over low order visibility for the full range of iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models in Q1 2018. CLSA analyst Nicolas Baratte argued that the reported reduction of the iPhone X's Q1 2018 shipment forecast from 50 million units down to 30 million units "remains inflated." Despite multiple stories about the iPhone X's plateaued demand in early 2018, the smartphone is believed to have sold well following its fall launch in 2017 and throughout the holiday season. Research data

iPhone Batteries Could Have Apple-Designed Power Management Chips Within Two Years

Apple is designing its own power management chips for use in iPhones within the next two years, according to Nikkei Asian Review.Apple's new in-house power management chip would be the most advanced in the industry, according to the sources, and could have processing capabilities that allow it to better monitor and control power consumption among various components. That means iPhone users could expect devices capable of delivering better performance on lower power consumption.Apple plans to replace around half of the main power management chips that go into iPhones with its own as early as 2018, but the transition could be delayed until 2019, according to anonymous sources cited in the report. If the report is accurate, it could be a serious blow for Dialog Semiconductor, the British company that exclusively designs the current main power management chip for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch models. Apple reportedly accounted for nearly three quarters of Dialog Semiconductor's revenue in 2016. The main power management chip controls an iPhone's battery, including charging capabilities and energy consumption. Apple's in-house version will supposedly be "the most advanced in the industry," which could pave the way for future iPhone models to have a better performance-vs-battery life balance. Taiwanese supplier TSMC will be the exclusive manufacturer of Apple's in-house power management chip, according to the report. Today's report corroborates a prediction by Bankhaus Lampe analyst Karsten Iltgen, who earlier this year said that Apple will at least partially cut

Supply Chain Hints at Apple Releasing Augmented Reality Headset No Later Than 2019

Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta Computer, a primary assembler of the Apple Watch, has revealed that it is working on an augmented reality product for an undisclosed company that some industry observers believe is Apple. Google Glass Enterprise Edition Quanta's vice chairman C.C. Leung suggested the device will be a "headset-like gadget with a fully transparent lens that allows users to see through and interact with the environment," according to Nikkei Asian Review. "Currently, we see such a device available in the market no later than the year 2019," he told reporters after the company's earnings conference. Leung noted that if an augmented reality device could carry a price tag lower than $1,000, it would likely become a hit in the market, although it is unlikely he has any knowledge of Apple's pricing plans if they even exist yet. Quanta is the second Apple supplier to mention involvement with an augmented reality product after fellow Taiwanese company Catcher Technology said it has been tapped to supply parts for an undisclosed wearable device. Bloomberg was among the first to report on Apple's work on an augmented reality headset. It said Apple aims to have the technology ready by 2019, and could ship a finished product as early as 2020, which is a slightly longer timeline. The headset's custom operating system, based on iOS, is reportedly dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system." Apple hasn't finalized how users will control the headset and launch apps, but it is investigating touchscreens, Siri voice activation, and head gestures as it creates

Future HomePod Models Could Include Face ID Technology

A new rumor out of Apple's supply chain over the weekend suggests future iterations of the HomePod could come with 3D-sensing cameras supporting Face ID, similar to the front-facing technology on the iPhone X. Specifically, Inventec Appliances president David Ho mentioned recently that the company sees a trend towards both facial and image recognition technology being incorporated into smart speakers, without specifying which speakers in particular (via Nikkei). Ho made the comment following Inventec's latest earnings conference, and analysts listening predict that he was likely referring to "the next generation of Apple's HomePod." Inventec Appliances is currently the sole supplier of both Apple's AirPods and HomePod, but also makes Xiaomi smartphones, Fitbit devices, and Sonos speakers, among others. Given the company's ties to Apple, analyst Jeff Pu predicts Ho's comments could suggest a Face ID-enabled HomePod in 2019. "We see trends that engineers are designing smart speakers that will not only come with voice recognition but also incorporate features such as facial and image recognition," President David Ho told reporters after the company's earnings conference. Jeff Pu, an analyst at Yuanta Investment Consulting, said Apple could roll out HomePods with 3D-sensing cameras in 2019. Ho said that facial recognition features "are set to make people's lives more convenient and to make the product easier to use." He further clarified his comments, however, citing hesitancy about whether smart speakers "with more AI features" would become popular. HomePod is

iPhone X Supply Estimated to Remain Extremely Tight Until Next Year Due to Earlier Production Issues

iPhone X shipments to customers will total around 20 million units through the end of the year, suggesting availability of the smartphone will be extremely tight through the holiday shopping season, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The reduction, said to be only half of Apple's originally planned amount for this year, is reportedly due to production issues with the iPhone X's new TrueDepth camera and 3D facial recognition system that powers Face ID and Animoji. The good news is that Apple's manufacturers have supposedly improved their yield rate, but only towards the end of September. iPhone X is currently being produced at an estimated rate of 10 million units per month. Apple is also believed to have already started negotiations with other manufacturers over additional production of certain parts, and there is a chance that output volumes could improve rapidly, according to the report. Today's report echoes what we've heard a seemingly countless number of times from multiple industry observers. Yuanta Investment Consulting analyst Jeff Pu, for example, originally estimated there would be 45 million iPhone X devices available to purchase. His latest prediction has 36 million units available through the end of the year. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also cut his iPhone X shipment forecast for the fourth quarter to 25-30 million units, down from 30-35 million. He expects 2-3 million units will be shipped into distribution channels ahead of the launch. iPhone X pre-orders begin Friday at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time on Apple.com, while the device

iPhone X Supply Revised Lower Yet Again as TrueDepth System Still Faces Production Issues

A new report today yet again suggests that customers looking to get an iPhone X this year might face quite the challenge. Jeff Pu, an analyst with Taipei-based Yuanta Investment Consulting, has cut his forecast of the number of iPhone X devices that will be produced this year from 40 million units to 36 million. It's the second time he has revised down his estimate, which originally totaled 45 million earlier this year. The underlying reason is that Apple's suppliers are still struggling to perfect manufacturing of the iPhone X's TrueDepth camera and 3D facial recognition system, according to Japan's Nikkei Asian Review. We first heard about the production issues from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo a few weeks ago. Multiple reports have claimed it has taken more time to assemble the TrueDepth system's so-called "Romeo" module than the "Juliet" module. The "Romeo" module reportedly includes the dot projector that beams more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a precise depth map of your face, while the "Juliet" module includes the infrared camera that analyzes the pattern. Together, they help power new iPhone X features such as Face ID and Animoji. Pu maintained his belief that the iPhone X will enter mass production in mid-October and begin to be shipped from China to the first wave of launch countries next week. iPhone X pre-orders begin Friday, October 27, just over two weeks from now. The device officially launches Friday, November

Apple Interested in Developing ARM-Based Mac Processors and iPhone Modems in House

Apple is continuing to expand manufacturing efforts related to the production of its own chips, according to a new report today by Nikkei, which stated that the company aims to "better compete" in the artificial intelligence field and reduce reliance on major suppliers like Intel and Qualcomm. Nikkei's sources said Apple's interest lies in building "core processors for notebooks, modem chips for iPhones, and a chip that integrates touch, fingerprint and display driver functions." Apple has reportedly "invested in research and development" for baseband modem chips -- currently sourced from Intel and Qualcomm -- which are required for cellular communication features on Apple's mobile devices. Analysts pointed towards Apple's legal fight with Qualcomm, and its poaching of Qualcomm modem chip engineer Esin Terzioglu, as examples to bolster the theory that the Cupertino company is ready to build its own modem chips. iPhone 8 teardown by iFixit Building its own core processor chips for MacBooks would reduce Apple's dependence on Intel, with two industry sources stating that Apple would instead build its notebook chips using ARM Holding's technology, a British company that designs ARM architecture and licenses it out to other companies. Apple's interest in designing chips that integrate touch, fingerprint and display driver functions is said to be because the company "wants to control next-generation display technology and some related key components." Multiple analysts provided theories behind Apple's move to design more of its own chips for its products, which

Estimated Supply of iPhone X on Launch Day Revised Down to Just Over 12 Million Units

When the iPhone X launches on November 3, initial supply of the smartphone available to purchase could be limited to around 12 million units, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Taipei-based Yuanta Investment Consulting. Pu told Nikkei Asian Review that Foxconn likely manufactured around 2 million iPhone X devices in September. He said the number should increase to 10 million in October, and reach a total of 40 million by the end of the year, down from his original forecast of 45 million units earlier this year. If accurate, that means there would be just over 12 million iPhone X handsets available to purchase when the device launches in under six weeks. The report corroborates that the TrueDepth camera and facial recognition system is a major bottleneck for iPhone X production, as KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a research note earlier this week.Two executives working for iPhone suppliers told Nikkei Asian Review that 3-D sensor part makers are still struggling to reach a satisfactory level of output, and to boost their yield rate. This rate measures the number of usable or saleable units from a batch of components or final products produced. A low yield rate is likely to hurt a company's margins and bottom line.Reports about limited availability surrounding an iPhone launch surface every year, but rumors suggest the iPhone X might be even harder to get your hands on than a 256GB iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black last

HomePod Supplies Limited at Launch, but Foxconn Coming on Board in 2018 to Increase Production

Inventec Appliances has been a rumored supplier for Apple's HomePod smart speaker since before the device was announced at WWDC in June, and now the manufacturer has indicated that supplies for HomePod might be limited at launch, in line with most Apple product launches (via Nikkei). The news came from Inventec Appliances president David Ho during a press conference today. Although his comments never specifically mentioned "HomePod," the estimated time frame given for the release of the product -- late in 2017 -- and its description as a high-profile "smart home device," suggest it to be Apple's upcoming speaker. At WWDC, Apple confirmed that the HomePod would launch sometime in December. Now, Ho has stated that the HomePod's contribution to the company's revenue for this year will be "fairly limited" -- which is expected given the device is launching so late in the year -- with optimistic improvements to profit gained from HomePod sales predicted for early 2018. One analyst speculated that the number of HomePod units shipped in December 2017 will be around 500,000. “We will finally ship the smart home device this year, but its contribution will be fairly limited and hopefully that will improve next year,” Inventec Appliances President David Ho told analysts and reporters during an earnings conference. “Inventec Appliances will likely only ship some 500,000 units of HomePod this year, and the device’s contribution to the group’s revenue will be less than 1%,” said Arthur Liao, an analyst at Taipei-based Fubon Securities. In 2018, Apple will look to open up

Apple Supplier Confirms New iPhone Models Will Be 'Waterproof' With Wireless Charging

iPhone assembler Wistron has confirmed that at least one of Apple's next-generation iPhone models will be "waterproof" and include wireless charging capabilities, according to Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review. "Assembly process for the previous generations of [iPhones] have not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless charging now require some different testing, and waterproof function will alter the assembly process a bit," [Robert] Hwang, [Wistron CEO], told reporters after the company's annual shareholders' meeting on Wednesday.Apple analysts Jeff Pu of Yuanta Investment Consulting and Arthur Liao of Fubon Securities claim Wistron is splitting orders for the upcoming 5.5-inch iPhone with a flat display with larger Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn, so it's likely that Wistron is referring to the so-called "iPhone 7s Plus." Given the higher-end "iPhone 8" is expected to be a premium smartphone, positioned above the iPhone 7s Plus, that model will likely feature wireless charging and improved water resistance as well. That leaves the next 4.7-inch iPhone, which is already rumored to have wireless charging, and it's reasonable to assume the smaller model will have improved water resistance too. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models are already splash- and water-resistant with an IP67 rating, but Apple's fine print warns that "splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear." iPhone water damage is not covered by Apple's warranties. Nevertheless, many iPhone 7 and

Apple Camera Lens Supplier Confirms 3D Sensing Module Shipments Coming in 2017, Likely for iPhone 8

Largan Precision, one of the current suppliers for the iPhone's camera lens component, today confirmed that it will ship lenses for 3D sensing modules in the second half of 2017, suggesting inclusion in the next-generation "iPhone 8." The confirmation comes from Largan CEO Adam Lin, who refrained from mentioning which company exactly the modules would be allocated for (via Nikkei). The list of companies available is very short, according to analyst Jeff Pu, who pointed out that Apple is expected to be the only company in the world to launch a smartphone with a 3D sensing module in 2017. In total, Pu estimated that Largan is set to supply 90 percent of the iPhone's rear camera lenses, 50 percent of its 3D sensing lenses, and up to 30 percent of the front-facing camera lenses. A mockup of the iPhone 8's front-facing camera and sensors via @VenyaGeskin1 The features and design of the iPhone 8's front-facing sensor bar have remained one of the more uncertain aspects of renderings and mockups over the past few weeks. It's still unclear whether the iPhone 8 will include a dual-lens front-facing camera or keep the single-lens of current generation devices. The inclusion of a 3D sensing module further confuses things, since it hasn't been suggested whether or not the technology would be directly integrated into the camera lens, or added onto the side among the ambient light sensor and proximity sensor. Pu's data appears to suggest the latter outcome. Key iPhone camera lens provider Largan Precision on Wednesday confirmed it would ship lenses for 3-D sensing modules in

Apple Watch on Track to Include Advanced Micro-LED Display 'As Soon As 2018'

Apple's micro-LED plans are making headlines again today, with Nikkei quoting industry sources that believe the Cupertino company is still on track for a wide adoption of micro-LED screens in its wearable devices "as soon as 2018." That timeline fits into a previous report from May, which pegged Apple for a trial production of micro-LED displays by the end of 2017, and a predicted inclusion on an Apple Watch launched in 2018 or later. If true, analysts speculate as to whether this means Apple would then cut dependence on Samsung and its production of OLED screens currently used on Apple Watch. Separately, another rumor has suggested that Samsung is looking into purchasing micro-LED manufacturer PlayNitride, which could then lead into a scenario where Apple sources micro-LED screens from Samsung for Apple Watch. Falling in line with previous reports, Nikkei's sources state that Apple's micro-LED efforts will be housed in a plant in Taoyuan, Taiwan. According to a person with knowledge of the display industry, Apple remains "the only company" that could potentially roll out micro-LED on a wide scale at this early stage in the technology's development. Devices with micro-LED have the chance to be thinner, lighter, see an improved color gamut with increased brightness, and sport higher resolutions. Micro-LED isn't expected to become a leader in the smartphone display supply chain, including that of iPhone, until 2020 at the earliest. "Apple is working very hard to foster the micro-LED technology ... the company could push the use of new display tech as early as next

Apple Places Order for 70 Million OLED iPhone Panels From Samsung

Production on the 2017 iPhone is moving along, with Apple recently having placed orders for 70 million OLED panels, reports Nikkei. Samsung, as we already know, will be Apple's sole OLED supplier, and will provide Apple with the panels. Demand for the 2017 iPhone, which is expected to feature a major design overhaul with an edge-to-edge display, glass body, and a premium price tag, is expected to be high as it typically is in a year when a new look is unveiled. Apple and Samsung are gearing up to meet demand with the large panel order. "iPhone X" concept via Gabor Balogh Nikkei's info comes from a supply chain source and also matches with estimates provided by IHS Markit analyst David Hsieh."Apple has ordered 70 million units of OLED panels from Samsung this year, while Samsung is preparing to churn out as many as 95 million for Apple in 2017, in case demand exceeds expectations," Hsieh said.There have already been rumors suggesting the OLED iPhone will be in short supply when it launches in September, with the majority of the stock unavailable until later in the year, and Hsieh also believes that could be the case. "It is also possible that some of these 70 million handsets will not be shipped to customers this year and be carried over to next year depending on demand," he said. Nikkei's industry source, in addition to covering panel orders, also shared some details on the upcoming device that echoes many rumors we've heard in the past. The site believes we will see a premium OLED iPhone with a 5.2-inch screen and no home button, which will be sold alongside

5.8-Inch iPhone Said to Have Curved Display, But Not as Curved as Galaxy S7 Edge

Apple's widely rumored 5.8-inch iPhone will feature a curved OLED display, although the curvature will be gentler than Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge, according to Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review. "iPhone X" concept by designer Gabor Balogh The curve will be gentler than screens in Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge handsets. This is partly due to the challenges of making curved glass covers to match screens, according to the source. While the curved screen will allow a viewable area of about 5.2 inches and make the iPhone even sleeker, it will not offer significant new functions, the person said.The report comes less than a week after research firm IHS Markit said it "anticipates Apple will adopt a flat implementation of OLED design on their special iPhone model, which is analogous to the current 2.5D glass design." KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Chinese research firm TrendForce previously said they expect the premium iPhone to have 2.5D cover glass, which refers to the slightly curved front glass that iPhones have had since the iPhone 6 in 2014. A "gently" curved display could perhaps conform to this design. The report cites a source that said Apple "would not be using OLED optimally" if it opted for a flat display like existing iPhone models, but it cautioned that the design has not been finalized and could still change. It added that the curved screen will "allow a viewable area of about 5.2 inches," although it said it will not offer significant new functions. Kuo expects the high-end iPhone will feature a 5.8-inch display with 5.15 inches of usable

Nikkei Now Agrees 'iPhone 8' Will Have Larger 5.8-Inch OLED Display

Apple will launch three new iPhone models in the fall, including one with a 5.8-inch OLED display and two with LCD displays, according to Nikkei Asian Review. While this is a rumor we have heard several times already, the Japanese website previously said Apple would launch a 5-inch iPhone—not 5.8 inches—in 2017. The relevant bit from today's report:The upcoming iPhone, to be launched this fall, will come in three configurations -- two with liquid crystal displays and one with a 5.8-inch organic light-emitting diode display.Here's what it reported last October:"Apple has tentatively decided that all the 5.5-inch, 5-inch and 4.7-inch models will have glass backs, departing from metal casings adopted by current iPhones, and Biel and Lens are likely to be providing all the glass backs for the new iPhones next year," the source said.5.8 inches is now the widely agreed upon screen size for Apple's first iPhone with an OLED display, but there is likely a reasonable explanation as to why Nikkei and two other reports suggested the model would have a 5-inch display. Namely, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said while the so-called "iPhone 8" will indeed have a 5.8-inch display, the primary area will actually be 5.15 inches, while the rest of the space will be reserved for a wide row of virtual buttons. Kuo also said the device's physical dimensions will likely be similar to a 4.7-inch iPhone. Given the size variation between the OLED panel, display area, and physical dimensions rumored, it remains unclear if Apple will officially categorize the "iPhone 8" as 5.1

Apple Will Reduce iPhone 7 Production By 10% in Early 2017 Due to 'Sluggish' Sales

Apple plans to reduce production of the iPhone line by 10 percent beginning in the first quarter of 2017, according to supplier data collected by Nikkei. Apple is said to have experienced a similar situation thanks to accumulated inventory of the iPhone 6s late in 2015, which also caused it to lower output of that smartphone in Q1 2016. The company attempted to prevent the same thing from happening again with the iPhone 7 by curbing production quantities on the 2016 smartphone, but even with that preemptive move Apple is again looking at a manufacturing downturn for its flagship iPhone line in the new year. In the report, Nikkei cites "sluggish" global sales for the iPhone 7 as the main reason behind the move. Because of this, the production cuts are expected to be focused on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Apple will trim production of its iPhone family around 10% on the year in the first quarter of 2017, according to calculations by The Nikkei based on data from suppliers. ...the phones still have sold more sluggishly than expected. Information on production of the latest models and global sales suggests cuts in both the 7 and 7 Plus lines in the coming quarter. Apple could have capitalized on Samsung's Galaxy Note7 problems earlier in the year, but according to a collection of analysts the iPhone 7 lacked "compelling" features and failed to garner interest in the new smartphone line. In September, Apple made the decision not to divulge the first weekend sales for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Throughout the year, a "doom and gloom" sentiment has followed

Future iPhones Could Be 'Made in America' as Apple Asks Foxconn to Consider U.S. Manufacturing

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has been studying the possibility of moving iPhone production to the United States, according to Japanese website Nikkei Asian Review, leading to hopeful speculation some iPhones could one day be "Made in America" rather than be assembled and imported from China. The report claims Apple asked both Foxconn and rival supplier Pegatron, which denied the request, to look into making iPhones stateside, although Foxconn chairman Terry Gou is said to be less enthusiastic about the idea due to inevitably higher production costs in the United States compared to China."Apple asked both Foxconn and Pegatron, the two iPhone assemblers, in June to look into making iPhones in the U.S.," a source said. "Foxconn complied, while Pegatron declined to formulate such a plan due to cost concerns."In a speech at Liberty University in Virginia earlier this year, President-elect Donald Trump said "we're going to get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries," while he has also threatened to introduce a 45% tax on products imported from China. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously told 60 Minutes it manufactures iPhones in China because of "skill," not lower wages. Cook said China has put an "enormous force on manufacturing," adding that the U.S. workforce has a smaller number of individuals with the "vocational kind of skills" needed.China put an enormous focus on manufacturing. In what we would call, you and I would call vocational kind of skills. The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many