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Apple Leasing Equipment to Suppliers to Make Sure Key iPhone 8 Components Get Made

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Apple recently purchased expensive production equipment to produce the rigid flexible printed circuit board for the iPhone 8, reports The Korea Herald. Apple doesn’t plan to use the equipment itself, but is instead leasing it to suppliers to ensure it can get the components it needs for the iPhone 8 amid rumors of production difficulties.

The equipment cost Apple “tens of millions of dollars” and will be used to create the aforementioned circuit boards, which are a key component that connect parts like the iPhone’s display and camera. A rigid flexible printed circuit board is reportedly more difficult to produce than conventional rigid or flexible PCBs.

iPhone 7 logic board, image via iFixit

Apple made the purchase after one of three suppliers it planned to source parts from backed out of the deal. Interflex and Youngpoong Electronics, two Korean companies, are said to be producing the components going forward.

“One of the three suppliers recently decided to back out,” a source told ET News on condition of anonymity, saying that the supplier is a Taiwanese manufacturer.

The exact reason why the Taiwanese supplier withdrew from the deal with a big client Apple was not revealed. But sources say the firm may have felt a pinch on the tricky production and strict quality requirements along with low profitability.

With one supplier pulling out of the deal, Apple decided to make sure the remaining suppliers can meet capacity. “To fill the loss, Apple is supporting the other two suppliers, both Korean, to beef up production,” said The Korea Herald‘s source.

Rumors have suggested Apple is struggling to produce several of the new iPhone’s components, including the 3D sensor and the display lamination process, which many analysts believe is going to lead to some delay in production ramp up.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often accurately predicts Apple’s plans, believes production ramp up could be delayed by a month or two, which means the iPhone 8 could be available in limited quantities with Apple unable to meet demand until late in 2017 or early in 2018.

Brooklyn-based writer, editor and creator with a love of all things streetwear and/or delicious. Always on the hunt for the next best coffee shop. Obsessed with new sunglasses.

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The Galaxy S9’s main specs detailed in extensive new report

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In just over a month, the phones many Android fans are waiting for will be finally unveiled in Barcelona, Spain. Samsung confirmed as much last week at CES, putting to rest all rumors that said the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ might be announced earlier than expected.

The phones have hardly been a secret, and we already know Samsung plans to reuse last year’s Galaxy S8 design for one more year. We also have a pretty good idea of the sort of hardware improvements that we can expect from the upcoming Galaxy S9 duo. But a new report from Korea gives us the best look yet at the Galaxy S9’s hardware specs, leaving almost nothing left for Samsung to surprise us with.

The Galaxy S9’s most notable improvement is the camera, Korean language ETNews says. The phone will have a single-lens 12-megapixel rear camera, while the Galaxy S9+ is getting a dual 12-megapixel camera setup on the back. All cameras are going to feature a variable F1.5/F2.4 aperture that will let users operate the phone like a DSLR camera. The variable iris tech was already used in the Samsung W2018 clamshell phone Samsung that was released in China last month.

The Galaxy S9 will also become the first flagship phone in the world with an F1.5 aperture, which will let it capture even more light. Low-light photography should be dramatically improved as a result. Last fall, LG launched a smartphone with an F1.6 aperture, the LG V30.

Another camera feature coming to the Galaxy S9 series is slow motion shooting mode — that’s likely the super slow motion mode that has been mentioned in previous reports. On the front side of the phone, you’ll find an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus. The Galaxy S9’s selfie cam also incorporates the components needed for facial recognition features, and the phone has a standalone iris recognition camera as well.

Aside from the camera, the Galaxy S9 will feature other interesting technology, like the Substrate Like PCB (SLP) mainboard design that will let Samsung squeeze miniaturized circuits into an even smaller space, thus freeing more room for the battery. SLP will be used in roughly 60% of Galaxy S9 units, or the ones that will be powered by Samsung’s own Exynos processor. The iPhone X employs similar tech, and it’s what allowed Apple to reduce the size of the logic board in the handset.

Finally, the report notes that the Galaxy S9 will bring over Samsung’s first display that will incorporate Y-OCTA technology. That’s short for Youm On-Cell Touch AMOLED, and it refers to new display tech that allows Samsung to reduce the overall size and weight of a screen and place the touch sensor right on top of the flexible OLED layer. The report makes no mention of 3D Touch-like support for the Galaxy S9, which had been rumored.

The report does not mention the actual size of the Galaxy S9 batteries, but a report earlier this week hinted Samsung will rely on the same 3,000 mAh and 3,500 mAh capacities used for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The new Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be unveiled during a press conference late next month ahead of their expected release on March 16th.

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Bloomberg: Apple hires data scientist team for analytics project

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Apple has hired a team of data scientists from a company called Silicon Valley Data Science, Bloomberg reports. While it doesn’t sound like a full blown acquisition, the report notes that Apple’s hiring spree includes the CEO of the consulting firm.

Apple confirmed some of the hires in a statement to Bloomberg as well:

Founded in 2013, the Mountain View, California-based startup provided data analysis to larger companies to improve their forecasts, operational efficiency, and customer relationships, according to the firm’s website. An Apple spokesman acknowledged a few dozen employees from Silicon Valley Data Science joined the company.

The report goes on to say that the new data scientist hires have been assigned to “analytics in ad-related initiatives” at the company.

The new hiring wave follows Apple’s acquisition of audio recognition service Shazam in December, the startup behind the QuantumFilm image sensor in November, and the team behind the development service Buddybuild earlier this month.

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Razer Phone 2 Could Launch In September With Project Linda

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The Razer Phone was launched back in November of last year and now it looks like we have some details about its successor, the Razer Phone 2.

According to a recent report the second generation Razer Phone will launch in September of 2017. The device is rumored to launch along with the new Project Linda.

Project Linda was revealed at CES 2018 earlier this month, it is an add on device for the Razer Phone that turns the handset into a gaming laptop. As yet there are no specifications on the new Razer Phone 2, although we can expect it to get a number of upgrades over the current handset.

The existing Razer Phone is equipped with a 5.72 inch IGZO LCD display that has a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The device is powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor and 8GB of RAM. The handset features 64GB of storage and a microSD card slot for expansion.

Other specifications on the device include a8 megapixel front facing camera for Selfies, on the back there are two cameras. One has a 12 megapixel sensor with a wide angle lens. The other has a 13 megapixel sensor with a telephoto lens. The handset comes with a 4000 mAh battery and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+.

As September is the rumored launch date for the second generation Razer Phone it looks like the handset could be made official at Mobile World Congress 2018.

Source Frandroid, GSM Arena

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