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Foxconn's 'Foxbot' Robots to Play Supporting Role in Factories

Over the weekend, it was reported that Foxconn would be soon deploying its own "Foxbot" robots to its factories to help assemble devices, with CEO Terry Gou noting that Apple would be the first use the service. Now, Taiwan's United Daily News (Google Translate, via GforGames) is sharing more details on the assembly robots, stating that they will play a supporting role in Foxconn's factories alongside employees. According to the paper, the assembly robots will be used for less intensive tasks such as tightening screws and positioning exterior components for polishing. Foxconn factory employees will still be responsible for more important tasks such as quality control and general assembly, however the company expects its robots to help greatly with device yield and output. Foxconn is reportedly on track to deploy 10,000 robots to its factories, with each robot costing anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 to make. The company has recently gone on a hiring spree ahead of the launch of Apple's iPhone 6 this fall, bringing on 100,000 new workers to help assemble the device. The iPhone 6 is expected to launch this September, and will come in two sizes of 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. In addition to a larger display, the device will also likely feature a thinner profile, an improved camera, a faster A8 processor, and

iPhone 6 Sapphire Display Limited to 5.5" Model as LG Struggles with iWatch Display Power Draw?

With conflicting opinions about whether Apple and partner GT Advanced Technologies will have enough sapphire crystal production ramped up for both rumored iPhone 6 models and the iWatch, Taiwan's Economic Daily News is now weighing in [Google Translate, via G 4 Games] with its own claims that only the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model will include a sapphire display due to production limitations. According to the report, the smaller 4.7-inch model will continue to use Corning's Gorilla Glass and represent the bulk of shipments for the new iPhone. From G 4 Games:The source also claims that the 4.7 inch iPhone 6 will hit the market with Gorilla Glass in tow. The main screen suppliers allegedly are LGD and JDI, and in anticipation of the handset’s success, the company expects to ship 60 million units (we assume that by the end of 2014). [...] As far as the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 goes, it will allegedly be built in limited quantities due to low sapphire yield, leading to a limited supply in 2014, therefore contradicting a recent report which claimed that Apple will have enough sapphire for both iPhone 6 models AND the iWatch. The report also addresses Apple's rumored iWatch, claiming that LG Display has been struggling to meet Apple's demand of nearly zero energy use in standby mode for the device's display. From G 4 Games:Reportedly, Apple has constantly pushed back the gadget’s release date because the device failed, in the past, to meet the company’s expectations. One of Apple goals with the iWatch is for the smartwatch’s display to draw almost no power when in

Apple Allegedly Tapping Innolux as 3rd iPhone 6 Display Supplier Ahead of Expected High Demand

According to Taiwan's Economic Daily News as reported by GforGames, Apple may be turning to Taiwnese supplier Innolux to provide display panels for its 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model. Apple reportedly has contracted with LG Display and Japan Display Corporation for the 4.7-inch panels, with Innolux added as a third partner to support the expected high demand for a larger iPhone model. Apple may have been negotiating with Samsung and Sharp as well as Innolux for the panels, but the Cupertino company was said to have rejected offers from Samsung and Sharp. Allegedly, the reason why Apple refused to collaborate with Samsung is because the Korean tech giant is too much of a direct competitor. As far as Sharp goes, Apple turned down the said company, following the analysis of the first wave of sample panels, which appear to be suffering from “Moire” issues. Innolux has a long history of working with Apple on display technology, with the company reportedly suppling panels for previous Apple products such as the iPad 2 and the iPad 3. It's not surprising that Apple would bring in a third supplier for the iPhone 6 as demand is reportedly strong for a larger iPhone model, with Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White calling the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 launch "a special one" for Apple. Apple's next iPhone model is expected to arrive in two display sizes, with a 4.7-inch model likely debuting this fall, and the 5.5-inch possibly landing several months

Apple May Be Working With Quanta Computer on Larger iPad

Apple is continuing development of its rumored larger-sized iPad and working with supplier Quanta Computer, reports Chinese site United Daily News (via Mac Otakara) [Google Translation]. The report from United Daily News refers to the larger tablet as a 12-inch device, but rumors from The Wall Street Journal suggest that Apple is actually testing an iPad that is closer to 13-inches diagonally. News of a larger-sized iPad first surfaced in May, and was later confirmed in July. Such a tablet could be similar in size to Apple's 13-inch MacBook Air, as seen in renderings commissioned by MacRumors. Click to see a larger version of the image. Quanta Computer is an Apple supplier responsible for Apple’s current MacBook Airs and an unusual choice for tablet production as those devices are currently produced by suppliers like Foxconn and Pegatron. The report claims, however, that Quanta is aiming to diversify. Apple is expected to release a new fifth-generation iPad and a second-generation iPad at an event that could take place in the October-November timeframe. The fifth-generation iPad is expected to take on an iPad mini-style design while the iPad mini will likely gain a Retina display. Though an original report on the larger iPad suggested that it could launch early next year, there is no indication that such a timeframe is correct and it remains unclear if the device will make it to market at

Apple Said to Be Working with Foxconn, Corning and Innolux on 'iTV' for 2014 Launch

Apple is in the development stages of an long-rumored television, partnering with glassmaker Corning, G-Tech Optoelectronics, Foxconn, and display maker Innolux -- if a report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News is to be believed [Google Translate]. The paper has a spotty track record at best, but it seems plausible that Apple would be talking with potential suppliers for a television as it continues to work on the much-rumored project. EDN did report on Pegatron's and LG Display's involvement with the iPad mini months ahead of its public launch, suggesting it does have some good sourcing with suppliers. According to sources in the industry, Apple, Corning, Foxconn, and G-Tech Optoelectronics met two weeks ago in US to discuss the production of iTV. Foxconn is seeking for knowledge transfer of Gorilla Glass from Corning to GTOC, so GTOC can perform surface treatments needed for iTV manufacturing. iTV is scheduled for release during the first half of 2014. 55" and 60" models will be released first, and will incorporate panels from Sakai City, Japan. Due to the weakening relationship between Foxconn and Sharp, Foxconn may eventually turn to Innolux to fulfill the large quantity of display panels needed for iTV orders.In 2012, GTOC was rumored to be making new anti-reflective glass for the then-upcoming redesigned iMac. The Economic Daily News also quotes NPD DisplaySearch vice president David Hseih as saying the iTV with Corning glass would launch early next year in 55" and 60" models. (Thanks to an anonymous tipster for the translation.)

Apple Reportedly Testing 1.5-Inch OLED Displays for Smart Watch

Japanese blog Mac Otakara points to a pair of reports in today's edition of Taiwanese newspaper Economic Times addressing rumors surrounding Apple's smart watch effort. According to the first report [Google translation], Apple has begun sampling 1.5-inch OLED displays from RITEK subsidiary RiTdisplay. The report also claims that RITEK's joint venture RitFast will be supplying the touch sensor technology for the watch. Today's report echoes a December claim about Apple's plans for RiTdisplay's 1.5-inch displays and word that Intel is involved in Apple's effort, but includes a detail indicating that Apple had originally hoped to use a 1.8-inch display in the smart watch. That display, however, proved to be too large and the company shifted to the smaller 1.5-inch display size. The second report [Google translation] offers an overview of the smart watch industry, with "market rumors" indicating that Foxconn has already received orders for Apple's smart watch. But with order volumes said to be around 1,000 units, the production run would clearly be a small-scale trial. Rumors of an Apple smart watch ramped up in the months following that December report about Apple and Intel working together, with The New York Times later reporting that Apple was "experimenting" with curved glass smart watch designs and Bloomberg following up to claim that Apple has 100 product designers working on the project. "iWatch" rumors peaked in February and March of this year amid claims that the device could launch "as soon as this year", but things have been relatively quiet for the

Production of 7.85-Inch iPad Reportedly Moving Closer as More Suppliers Named

Digitimes has been one of the biggest sources of rumors regarding a potential "iPad mini" carrying a 7.85-inch screen that the publication says Apple is targeting for release later this year. Digitimes now points to a new report [Google translation] from Taiwanese newspaper United Evening News making similar claims and outlining a number of companies making up Apple's supply chain for the device. According to the report, Apple will be utilizing Pegatron as its assembler for the device, forgoing its main partner Foxconn for this project. Apple and Pegatron do, however, have a long-standing relationship with the assembler already contributing to iPhone production and rumored at several points to be involved in iPad 3 production as well. Mockup of 7.85-inch iPad next to an iPhone On the display side, the report claims that LG Display will be responsible for 70-75% of the workload for the smaller iPad, with AU Optronics handling the remainder. Samsung, which is a key part of Apple's supply chain but with which Apple is currently engaged in a massive patent dispute, has reportedly been shut out of display production for the new device. The report also claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics and Forhouse will be contributing backlight components for the 7.85-inch iPad. The newspaper had previously named LG and AU Optronics as display suppliers for the device, claiming in October that Apple was planning to launch the smaller iPad early this year. The Wall Street Journal weighed in last month with its own claims that Apple was working with those companies on the