Sunday, July 16, 2017

Apple is buying and leasing equipment to help its component suppliers [rumor]

Interior of one of the factories of the iPhone

Apple is buying equipment that specializes in manufacturing certain components and then renting it under advantageous conditions to suppliers who might not otherwise be able to supply components to Apple in the volume that is needed to make millions of iPhones in a short time .
This equipment could aim to provide the number of flexible baseboards (called RFPCB in the industry) that Apple needs for future iPhone models, after one of the three vendors with whom it was negotiating backed the deal. This Taiwanese supplier might have decided not to collaborate with Apple as it saw it difficult to supply that component in the quantity or quality Apple asked for. The remaining two suppliers from South Korea may then have to secure the same amount of components as before with three vendors, and to be able to do that Apple could be helping them by providing the specialized equipment needed to manufacture those flexible motherboards.
The motherboard is the component that welds all the components that make the iPhone work. They have several layers, which circulate all the tracks that carry the electrical signals between all those components. It is obviously a very important component that this year could be especially complicated to manufacture having more layers or a certain flexibility to save more space than ever inside the iPhone .
Apple usually agrees to supply each iPhone component of several companies to ensure they will have enough units to manufacture the iPhone in case there is any eventuality in any of them.
The rumor comes from the Korea Herald , although sources who have reported about this motherboard supplier coming off Apple's list of partners have not been identified. This year, many analysts are reporting problems of component supply due to the new features of the new iPhone model, hypothetically with an OLED screen and other improvements that make it more complicated to build than ever before in the history of the family of smartphones from Apple.
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