With several Japanese manufacturers struggling to bring their facilities back into operation after the earthquake and tsunami, Digitimes reports Apple is willing to pay more to have a constant, steady flow of touch panel supply for the coming months. After the release of the iPad 2 and with several reports about Apple facing issues with low tablet shipments from Asian manufacturers, the rumor is interesting as it suggests Apple is re-considering the amount of money that goes into pre-production deals with companies in China and Taiwan.
In order to secure sufficient supply of touch panels used in the iPad and iPhone, Apple has talked with Taiwan-based makers, considering some room for them to hike quotes, according to these makers.
With Apple’s capacity, It is a reasonable strategy from Apple to allow suppliers to hike quotes, and it will be a great help to the overall supply chain, even just for the short term, but will increase pressure to other vendors for tablet PCs and smartphone, touch panel makers believed.
In the past week many publications reported the Japanese earthquake might have not affected the stream of supplies necessary for the iPad 2 production. Apple is clearly looking ahead though, with an iPhone 5 set to debut this summer and likely ready to go into mass-production in a few weeks. Digitimes claims Apple is taking 60% of the current touch panel market, and a deal to pay manufacturers more to ensure availability may spell bad news for competitors like Samsung or Motorola, both heavily betting on Android-based tablets for 2011. [via MacRumors]
In the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit last week, Apple won’t launch the iPad 2 in Japan on March 25th. As reported by Reuters the company isn’t providing a rescheduled date for the launch, but it’s very clear that Apple is focusing on helping out people and their staff in Japan rather than planning a product launch.
We are delaying the launch of the iPad 2 in Japan while the country and our teams focus on recovering from the recent disaster,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris.
The iPad was originally scheduled for a launch in Japan on March 25th. In the meantime, iPadevice reports Apple has extended donations to the Red Cross through iTunes in various international Stores including the Italian one. Donations in the US iTunes Store were launched last week.
As noted by 9to5mac, Apple has enabled an option in the iTunes Store to donate to the American Red Cross for the Japan relief fund. If you want to make your donation to the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan, you can by visiting this page and choosing to donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 or $200. Everything happens through the iTunes account you already have — a clever move to make donations easy and just a click away for iTunes users.
100% of your donation will go to the American Red Cross, which is set to provide food, shelter and assistance to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami.
Franck Muller is a luxury fashion brand that’s very popular in Europe and is now starting to get a name in the US as well. Many of you may not have heard of Muller before, but the company really makes great accessories. And expensive ones, above all. Like this new line of iPhone 4 cases, produced my Franck Muller in Switzerland and up for pre-order though Japanese carrier Softbank.
The only problem is, this series will be produced as limited edition, with 6 different models manufactured 500 times each. Each case will cost you $1270. Ouch. Not exactly cheap.
Still, it’s Franck Muller. If you’re a fan of the brand, happen to have some bucks to spend and you can find a way to pre-order them with Softbank, go ahead. [via CrunchGear]
According to “sources from upstream component makers” close to Digitimes, the CDMA iPhone won’t be an exclusive to Verizon in the US (as also confirmed by Apple’s Tim Cook at the Verizon event) but it’s headed to China, Japan and South Korea. Digitimes reports the CDMA iPhone is manufactured both by Pegatron and Foxconn; Foxconn’s model (whose shipment started in December 2010) will be exclusive to the United States, while Pegatron’s version will ship to China and “other countries”.
Pegatron started shipping its CDMA iPhone 4 in January 2011 and Foxconn started in December 2010. Foxconn’s model will be solely supplied to the US, while Pegatron’s model will be supplied to China and other countries. Since US-based telecom carrier Verizon currently has over 93 million users in the US, the launch of CDMA iPhone is expected to double the number of the current iPhone users in the market.
Since Apple is also set to start supplying its CDMA iPhone to Japan and South Korea, the company’s iPhone shipments in 2011 are expected to reach a new record.
Reports surfaced in the past suggested the CDMA iPhone would be available in India, China (via China Telecom) and other CDMA European carriers. This latest Digitimes report also points to Apple adopting new technologies like “halogen-free connectors, carbon fiber internals, solar glass charger plates and double-webcams”.
The iPhone is becoming one of Japan’s best selling smartphones — something quite strange for a country that’s not usually huge on products coming from the States, or Europe — and now the Japanese government is asking Apple and Softbank, the iPhone carrier in the land of the Rising Sun, to add content filters on the iPhone by default. To prevent teenagers from accessing “harmful” web content (can we have a guess? porn) and, generally, stuff they shouldn’t be able to see on a smartphone, the National Police Agency requires handsets markers to ship devices with this kind of filtering.
As you can imagine, this isn’t going to be easy for the Japanese government and Softbank, who’s just the middle man between Cupertino and the Japanese folks lining up to buy iPhones every day. Softbank can’t install proprietary code on the iPhone — they should open an iPhone first and find a way to give it to customers with some filtering software enabled. But we know iOS doesn’t allow for these kinds of software to be installed. So it’s all on Apple now, which has to evaluate whether or not they should follow the Japanese government’s request.
The way I see it, Japan will have to wait for filters to come on their iPhones for a long time. [via TUAW]
While I can bake some mean snickerdoodles when Christmas comes around, I hate to admit than anything even related to frosting is a bit of a sore point in my baking expertise. Which means I probably could never work for the Green Gables bakery in Japan, whose intricate artwork on their iPhone cookie look-a-likes has become a popular hit. Individually packaged as to not damage the cookie, presentation is everything — the creator wishes that you’ll admire this tasty piece of art before indulging yourself to the unique tasty treat. The cookies have been around for a while, and pictures shared on the Internet fueled everyone’s inner geek to buy these one of a kind cookies that Apple Inc. themselves could have baked. I can imagine Johnny Ive in an apron mixing the dough and baking batches of these things.
My request is that Apple themselves import these cookies overseas and sell them at the mothership if possible, but even Cupertino might have trouble since there’s a 2 month waiting period. Just look at this way: that iPhone cookie has a wait time as long as the real iPhone when it first came out!
[Cult of Mac via blog.livedoor.jp (Green Gables)]
It appears that carriers worldwide are all revising their iPad subsidy plans ahead of the holiday season that’s approaching really fast. A few minutes ago, as noted by Engadget, Softbank announced [Google Translation] that starting December 3rd you’ll be able to get an iPad for free if you subscribe to the carrier’s new two-year data plan, which will cost you ¥4,725 ($56) per month for 3G usage.
We already know that the iPhone is doing quite well in Japan. Is the iPad next?
With a press release today Apple announced its exclusive partnership with Japanese brand agency Dentsu Group to bring iAds to Japan. The iAds following this partnership will be rolled out in Japan in early 2011 and Dentsu “will be responsible for the selling and creative execution”.
Dentsu subsidiary cci will provide creative production and media planning.
Check out the full press release below. (more…)