nikkei.com


'nikkei.com' Articles

AirPods Pro Demand is So Strong That Apple is Reportedly Doubling Production

Following a recent Bloomberg report claiming that the new AirPods Pro are experiencing "much higher" than expected demand, the Nikkei Asian Review reports that Apple has asked its supplier Luxshare Precision to double production of the high-end earphones to two million units per month. The report adds that Apple has also asked Luxshare and fellow Chinese manufacturer Goertek to boost production of the regular AirPods at their Vietnam-based factories, although it is unclear by how much.. AirPods Pro are currently estimated for delivery around December 31 through Apple's online store in the United States, so orders placed today are not guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas. However, authorized resellers such as Amazon, Best Buy, AT&T, and T-Mobile still quote delivery within the first week of December. Amazon is even offering a slight discount on the AirPods Pro for Black Friday, pricing them at $234.98, a savings of nearly $15. AirPods are considered to be the world's best selling truly wireless earphones, with surging popularity since their release in late 2016. Together with the Apple Watch, the earphones have been a driving force behind growth in Apple's wearables category, which recently set new fourth quarter revenue records worldwide. AirPods Pro feature several improvements over the regular AirPods, including active noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and water resistance. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Report: Apple to Use Qualcomm's X55 5G Modem in All Three 2020 iPhones

Apple's 2020 iPhones will all use Qualcomm's newest and fastest 5G-capable modem chip, claims a new report out of Asia today. Apple is expected to launch three iPhones next year in 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch sizes. According to Nikkei Asian Review, all three will carry the 5G modem chip designed by Qualcomm called the X55. All three of the new iPhones will carry the most advanced 5G modem chip, known as X55 that is designed by U.S. mobile chip developer Qualcomm, four people familiar with the plan told Nikkei. The chip, which enables much faster downloads, faces such an increase in demand that there could be supply constraints, one person added.The X55 chip offers 7Gb/s peak download speeds and 3Gb/s upload speeds, though these numbers are theoretical maximums and actual speeds will depend on carrier network. The chip is Qualcomm's first 5G chip that supports all major frequency bands, operation modes, and network deployments. The X55 is also more power efficient than Qualcomm's X50 chip, which means it will draw less energy and will have less of an impact on battery life when connected to a 5G network. Apple was originally planning to use Intel chips in its 2020 5G iPhones, but Intel is out of the smartphone chip business and Apple has no choice but to use Qualcomm's modem chips. Apple aims to ship 80 million 5G-capable iPhones next year, claims the report. Apple typically ships between 75 and 80 million new iPhones each year, and it plans to close in on similar targets in 2020 and exploit 5G as a key sales driver, according to Nikkei. "It will

Apple Reportedly Increasing iPhone 11 Lineup Production by Up to 10% Due to Strong Demand

Apple has asked suppliers to increase production of its new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro lineup by up to 10 percent, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The bump in production would add up to 8 million units to the current production plans as Apple seeks to meet stronger-than-expected demand. "This autumn is so far much busier than we expected," one source with direct knowledge of the situation said. "Previously, Apple was quite conservative about placing orders," which were less than for last year's new iPhone. "After the increase, prepared production volume for the ‌iPhone 11‌ series will be higher compared to last year," the source said.The report claims the ‌iPhone 11‌ and ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌ are seeing the strongest demand, while Apple is actually revising orders for the iPhone 11 Pro Max down slightly as it seeks to balance production with demand. Nearly every year, stories circulate about Apple cutting production in the months following the launches of new iPhones, but it's frequently unclear whether production cuts are due to weaker-than-expected demand or simply anticipated scaling back following the initial rush of orders. Regardless, an increase in production this year appears to be a good sign for Apple. With the launch of three new ‌iPhone‌ models with improved cameras, Apple's ‌iPhone‌ lineup may be appealing to a broad array of customers ready to upgrade from older models, particularly with the ‌iPhone 11‌ starting at $699, which is $50 less than its iPhone XR predecessor. Those looking for an even more budget-friendly new ‌iPhone‌ may have some welcome

Apple's First New Low-Cost iPhone Since the iPhone SE Expected to Launch Early Next Year

Apple plans to launch a new-generation "iPhone SE" in the form of a low-cost 4.7-inch ‌iPhone‌ this coming spring, sources in Asia have claimed. Nikkei reports that the new model will be Apple's first low-cost smartphone since the 2016 launch of the popular ‌iPhone‌ SE, which started at $399, and while the name and price of the new model hasn't been decided, "it is viewed as the latest generation of the ‌iPhone‌ SE," according to the paper's sources. The size of the new model will be similar to the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 that was introduced in 2017, three sources said. The model will share most of the same components with the flagship iPhones this year, and it will feature the lower-cost liquid crystal display that will help Apple achieve the lower starting price-tag, although the final pricing for the model is not yet settled, the people said. Rumors of a new low-cost 4.7-inch ‌iPhone‌ modeled on the ‌iPhone 8‌ first appeared in April via Economic Daily News. EDN's sources also claimed the device coming in early 2020 will include an LCD display. In addition, they also claimed it will feature a new PCB design to house Apple's A13 processor, a single-lens rear camera, and 128GB of base storage. It's not clear if the rumored 4.7-inch ‌iPhone‌ would inherit the notched design and Face ID features of Apple's flagship smartphones, but Nikkei's references to 2017's ‌iPhone 8‌ suggest it could retain the bordered screen and Touch ID-equipped Home button of that device to keep costs down. Apple's iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR devices dominate its marketing, but the company

Apple Tells Suppliers to Cut iPhone XR and XS Production by 10% for Next Three Months

Apple is telling its suppliers to cut production on new iPhones by 10 percent over the course of the next three months, reports Nikkei. Apple made the request of its suppliers late last month, asking them to produce fewer iPhones for the January-March quarter. This is the second time that Apple has recently cut down on iPhone production, and Nikkei says Apple made the decision prior to issuing its guidance downgrade last week. The production revision applies to all of Apple's new iPhone models, including the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. "The level of revision is different for each supplier and depends on the product mix they supply," an unnamed source told Nikkei. A second source said that overall production volume of both new and old iPhones will be reduced by approximately 40 to 43 million units for the January-March quarter, down from an earlier projection of 47 to 48 million units. Due to weak iPhone sales in China, the effects of the U.S.-China trade war, cheap battery replacements, and other factors, Apple cut its Q1 2019 revenue guidance to $84 billion, down from the $89 to $93 billion guidance issued in November, and with the production cuts, those issues may continue further into the year. Apple CEO Tim Cook just today said, however, that reports suggesting the iPhone XR is a flop or selling poorly are "bologna," and that the device has been the best selling iPhone every day since it

Nikkei: Apple Told Suppliers to Cancel Plans for Additional iPhone XR Production Lines

Apple has told iPhone assemblers to halt plans for additional production lines dedicated to the iPhone XR, claimed a new report on Monday. According to sources cited by the Nikkei Asian Review, Apple has informed Taiwanese smartphone manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron of the cancelation, which the report said signaled "disappointing demand" for Apple's lower cost flagship model, which launched late last month. "For the Foxconn side, it first prepared nearly 60 assembly lines for Apple's XR model, but recently uses only around 45 production lines as its top customer said it does not need to manufacture that many by now," a source familiar with the situation said. That means Foxconn, the Taiwanese company traded as Hon Hai Precision Industry, would produce around 100,000 fewer units daily to reflect the new demand outlook -- down 20% to 25% from the original optimistic outlook, this person said.As for Pegatron, the iPhone assembler is said to be "suspending plans to ramp up production and awaiting further instructions from Apple," according to Nikkei's supply chain sources. Apple has reportedly also asked smaller iPhone assembler Wistron to stand by for rush orders, but Nikkei's sources said the company will receive no orders for the iPhone XR this holiday season. Nikkei's reporting on iPhone supplies has been off the mark in recent years, with claims of Apple slashing iPhone production orders on weak demand being at odds with later sales figures. The latest report also clashes with recent remarks made by noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said that

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