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Apple picks Toshiba as sole supplier of iPhone LCDs - rumor

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
According to a Japanese newspaper, Apple has dropped plans to invest in a production facility at Sharp and decided to use Toshiba as the sole manufacturer of liquid crystal displays for the iPhone.

The Nikkan Kogyu Shimbun reported Wednesday that Apple has decided to go with Toshiba for orders of screens for the iPhone, as noted by MarketWatch. "Sharp was no longer a candidate for Apple's investment," the report claimed.

Sharp denied the rumor in a statement Wednesday, asserting that the report "contradicts the facts." However, if true, the report would signal a crushing loss for the company.

Last year, Sharp announced an Android smartphone that matched the resolution and dimensions of Apple's iPhone 4, which boasted a Retina Display with "the highest resolution display ever in a phone" when it was released last June.

The Japanese report follows several rumors late last year that Apple plans to invest over $1 billion each in LCD plants at Toshiba and Sharp. Last December, the Nikkei business daily alleged that Apple was investing in an LCD factory that Toshiba was building in Ishikawa, Japan. However, a Toshiba spokesman told Reuters that "the report was untrue and nothing had been decided" regarding Apple's involvement in the new factory.

Days later, Nikkei reported that Apple would partner with Sharp to build a $1.2 billion facility. According to the newspaper, Apple would be responsible for a "large portion" of the facility and would buy "most" of the panels produced by Sharp. The Sharp plant is expected to begin production in the second half of 2012.

LCD panel production has caused bottlenecks in Apple's supply chain in the past. The limited launch supply of both the original iPad and the iPad 2 has been attributed to LCD delays.
post #2 of 15
Could be quake related. Eastern Japan is still under electricity rationing. It would be a risky investment if the site would not be able to function at full capacity because of power or raw material delivery issues. Most of the ports in northeastern Honshu were heavily damaged from the tsunami.

Western Japan has no electricity rationing. The two halves of Japan are unable to share electricity due to incompatible grids.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomjones View Post

America has hundreds of thousands of young adults standing at the street corners yearning to work in a manufacturing plant.

Hundreds of thousands of young adults yearning to earn 30¢ per hour? I dont think so.
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomjones View Post

When will America's corporations start building things in the U.S. again? Apple's components should be built by General Electric and other U.S. tech companies in the U.S. These contracts should be awarded to U.S. companies with the condition that the products must be built in the United States. America has hundreds of thousands of young adults standing at the street corners yearning to work in a manufacturing plant. http://www.digitalundivide.com

When the US can make a similar product at a competitive price which basically means never, as US labor costs are astronomical when compared to counties like China and Korea for example. Everyone says they would pay extra for a made in USA product but history shows they don't and won't unless the made in USA product actually costs less.

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"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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post #5 of 15
Correct.

Levi Strauss eliminated all their US domestic manufacturing about 15-20 years ago for this reason. If you wanted to buy US-manufactured 501s today, they would probably be around $200 dollars, similarly priced to Japanese denim jeans.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Hundreds of thousands of young adults yearning to earn 30¢ per hour? I dont think so.

Certainly not the case in Japan.

But as long as the disparity between the boss and the employee is so wide, perhaps the greed amongst the boys at the top will dictate that creating jobs is not a real concern for American management.

As reported,
Quote:
companies listed on Japans stock exchanges paid their chief executives an average of $580,000 in salary and other compensation last fiscal year, PWC estimates, about 16 times more than the typical Japanese worker. Average CEO pay at the 3,000 largest U.S. companies is $3.5 million, including stock options and bonuses, according to the Corporate Library, a research group.

While Japan maintains a relatively low CEO-to-worker pay ratio, the average American CEO now earns 319 times as much as the average American worker.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/08/...merican-sixth/
post #7 of 15
Once read an article that it took just as much energy to plant a field of rice with laboring humans as with a tractor doing the same planting. The tractor however took less people to build it than it took to do the human planting. Consequently the humans building the tractor could get higher wages and the left out humans could go on to other more productive things.

(Build more tractors to plant more field with same human labor as an example.)

Somewhere in the human versus machine cost trade off there must be an inflection point where the sophistication of the manufacturing machine would allow paying the American worker living wages and still beat the price points of the humans laboring to build the low cost products that Apple designs so well.

(Apple could apply their great methods to designing and operating such plants in America)
post #8 of 15
Yes, but that is because those Countries allow wide spread labor abuse. Americans who believe that humans should be treated with respect shouldn't have to compete with labor in those Countries. All the money going overseas is making those Countries rich, and America poor. That is why China can afford to loan us billions of dollars. It is al the money we gave them from american manufacturing.

We need to get rid of the Free Trade Agreements. They are not free. We should only have to compete Countries with the same systems of government where competition truly is fair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

When the US can make a similar product at a competitive price which basically means never, as US labor costs are astronomical when compared to counties like China and Korea for example. Everyone says they would pay extra for a made in USA product but history shows they don't and won't unless the made in USA product actually costs less.
post #9 of 15
The article is (I suspect) implying that this was Apple punishing those that try to compete directly with them and expect to remain a major Apple supplier, as did Sharp. I don't doubt Samsung will be next to lose a lucrative Apple supply contract.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by starwarrior View Post

Once read an article that it took just as much energy to plant a field of rice with laboring humans as with a tractor doing the same planting. The tractor however took less people to build it than it took to do the human planting. Consequently the humans building the tractor could get higher wages and the left out humans could go on to other more productive things.

(Build more tractors to plant more field with same human labor as an example.)

Somewhere in the human versus machine cost trade off there must be an inflection point where the sophistication of the manufacturing machine would allow paying the American worker living wages and still beat the price points of the humans laboring to build the low cost products that Apple designs so well.

(Apple could apply their great methods to designing and operating such plants in America)


As is business practice of US firms, any cost advantage derived from adoption of machine in place of human labor end up in the Profit column on the company book, and paid out first to management team as a bonus for getting that profit, and then shareholders as divident for having that profit. Workers don't get anything significant since they can now more easily be replaced by machines.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Yes, but that is because those Countries allow wide spread labor abuse. Americans who believe that humans should be treated with respect shouldn't have to compete with labor in those Countries. All the money going overseas is making those Countries rich, and America poor. That is why China can afford to loan us billions of dollars. It is al the money we gave them from american manufacturing.

We need to get rid of the Free Trade Agreements. They are not free. We should only have to compete Countries with the same systems of government where competition truly is fair.

If you get rid of Free trade agreements, and only trade with countries you think competition truly is fair, then you'll find market for US goods will be exceedingly small. Nonetheless, you'll find your sentiment a very popular one, even in place like China, which you think benefited so much from unfair trade. You'll be surprised that Chinese think it's US that benefited too much from one sided trade rules, trading increasingly less valuable IOUs for real products built with their hard labor, paid for in damaged environment, and having US companies taking most of the profits.
post #12 of 15
I wonder if Toshiba might be a leading candidate to replace Samsung as a provider of all sorts of components for iDevices, including SSDs, RAM, and SOCs. I bet Apple doesn't want to do business with any supplier that intends to compete with them in the consumer market, and Toshiba has less of a history operating in that market than Samsung or Sharp. Plus, Toshiba is a Japanese company, and Jobs is a fan of Japan, so that might play into it too.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Could be quake related. Eastern Japan is still under electricity rationing. It would be a risky investment if the site would not be able to function at full capacity because of power or raw material delivery issues. Most of the ports in northeastern Honshu were heavily damaged from the tsunami.

Western Japan has no electricity rationing. The two halves of Japan are unable to share electricity due to incompatible grids.


Did the report say that Toshiba would manufacture the LCDs in Japan? I would assume like most large Japanese manufacturers, Toshiba probably has plants in China as well.

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post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I wonder if Toshiba might be a leading candidate to replace Samsung as a provider of all sorts of components for iDevices, including SSDs, RAM, and SOCs. I bet Apple doesn't want to do business with any supplier that intends to compete with them in the consumer market, and Toshiba has less of a history operating in that market than Samsung or Sharp. Plus, Toshiba is a Japanese company, and Jobs is a fan of Japan, so that might play into it too.

That's going to be really tough to avoid. Toshiba has their tablets ready to hit the US shores within weeks. In fact Toshiba is planning to be pretty aggressive, shooting for 10% of the tablet market within 24 months. I don't think that's unattainable. They generally offer good products and fair prices.
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post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

The two halves of Japan are unable to share electricity due to incompatible grids.

That's incredible for such a technologically advanced country. You learn something new every day.
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