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Apple supply chain rumors: 'iPad Pro' on hold, sapphire production limited

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
A pair of fresh rumors from Taiwan claim that Apple's 2014 product line is far from settled, as the company is alleged to have shelved plans for a larger-screened iPad and is purportedly facing supply issues at its new Arizona sapphire plant.

iPad Air
The iPad Air is currently Apple's largest tablet with a 9.7-inch display.


The long-rumored "iPad Pro" -- a larger version of the iPad that would have shipped with a 12.9-inch display and been released this fall -- is now unlikely to see the light of day, according to Digitimes. The publication cited "lack of support from related platform developers and ecosystems" as a stumbling block for jumbo-sized tablets, with some models from Apple competitor Samsung already on shelves.

Large tablets present an inferior value proposition to low-cost notebooks, Digitimes argues, and suffer from the poor quality of enterprise applications available on Google's Android platform.

There was no word on whether the product has been killed altogether or simply delayed, and some industry watchers believe Apple still intends to release such a device. Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities indicated as much in a report last month, writing that development of the tablet is underway but will not be completed in time for a 2014 launch.

"Even if it (a larger iPad) does make an appearance this year, shipments will be low," he wrote at the time.

ASF
GT Advanced Technologies' ASF sapphire furnace.
Source: GT Advanced


Additionally, Digitimes believes the yield from Apple's new $578 million Arizona sapphire plant will be too low to sustain production of a new sapphire-covered iPhone, possibly imperiling plans for that device. Assuming the so-called "iPhone 6" ships with a 5-inch display, the website calculates that the Arizona facility's output would cover less than 12 million devices in its first year.

Those numbers differ significantly from a February report by analyst Matt Margolis, who believes the plant could produce between 100 million and 200 million such display covers per year. Apple shipped 154 million iPhones in 2013.

There is no word on how Digitimes reached their estimate, or what Apple would do to make up for the shortfall. Margolis studied customs records that detail the number of sapphire furnaces brought to the Arizona facility by Apple partner GT Advanced Technologies.
post #2 of 54

Contrary to the report from 9to5mac that says otherwise. 

 

Like someone in Taiwan knows what is going on in Arizona.


Edited by macxpress - 3/14/14 at 10:37am

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post #3 of 54

This was supposed to be the year of the iMat. http://i.imgur.com/9Tdbgrq.jpg

post #4 of 54

iPad Pro is an incredibly stupid idea when you consider the size, utility, and awesomeness of the MacBook Air. I don’t believe Apple would be dumb enough to consider such a move.

post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
 

iPad Pro is an incredibly stupid idea when you consider the size, utility, and awesomeness of the MacBook Air. I don’t believe Apple would be dumb enough to consider such a move.

 

I believe a general consumer would rather have a thin lightweight tablet than a full fledged Mac. MacBook Air is on its way out IMO. What does it do for an everyday consumer than an iPad doesn't?

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post #6 of 54
Truth: DigiTimes is full of crap. They have no idea what they are talking about. They have nothing to back up that this iPad Pro was ever real and nothing to tell them what Apple is planning to do with the sapphire or how much the plant can make

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #7 of 54
Was it not DigiTimes AND Ming who introduced us to the iPad Pro 12.9"? How interesting it is being reported there is a delay and/or cancellation of the device.
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post
 

This was supposed to be the year of the iMat. http://i.imgur.com/9Tdbgrq.jpg

 

they can't do the iMat until they release the 'delayed' iBoard

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #9 of 54

A rumor (supply chain issues) about a rumor (sapphire) about a rumor (timing) about a rumor (12.9" iPad).

 

Got to hand it to these guys.:lol:

post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

A rumor (supply chain issues) about a rumor (sapphire) about a rumor (timing) about a rumor (12.9" iPad).

Got to hand it to these guys.lol.gif

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #11 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
 

Like someone in Taiwan knows what is going on in Arizona.

Perhaps if there are manufacturing contracts being negotiated in Taiwan which rely on sapphire deliveries from Arizona, someone in Taiwan may be in the know if indeed the supplies are constrained.

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post #12 of 54

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuull.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
I believe a general consumer would rather have a thin lightweight tablet than a full fledged Mac. MacBook Air is on its way out IMO. What does it do for an everyday consumer than an iPad doesn't?

Rumors about rumors are notoriously unreliable according to recent rumors (unnamed source).

 

But regardless, a larger iPad would be a very niche product for your average consumer. I have a hard time seeing a popular consumer demand for anything larger than the Air, hence the 'Pro' naming. But even in a professional environment would a large format iPad be anything but very specialized?

post #14 of 54
Golly, just because DigiTimes et al get wind of an Apple supplier making an experimental run of a big iPad, a MacTablet, or a whatever, doesn't mean they are planning to release such a device.
post #15 of 54
sapphire is for the watch, not the phone. so obvious. in that case, the same yield can probably support 80M watches.
post #16 of 54
You mean a product that was never going to happen is now on hold? How convenient.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
 

 

I believe a general consumer would rather have a thin lightweight tablet than a full fledged Mac. MacBook Air is on its way out IMO. What does it do for an everyday consumer than an iPad doesn't?

LOL haven't you heard? The MacBook Air is a "real computer". 

 

The MacBook Air is overkill for most consumers these days, and less ideal for the average consumer's desires (let's face it, they WANT iPads).

 

The MacBook Air is however the cheapest way to get a new Apple notebook computer, if in fact that is what you need. My wife needed a work laptop, so I got her a MacBook Air. She couldn't explain to me why an iPad wouldn't work, even with a keyboard case. So she got what she asked for.

post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by schlack View Post

sapphire is for the watch, not the phone. so obvious. in that case, the same yield can probably support 80M watches.

Not just the watch, but TouchID covers for all new iPhones and iPads. Apple was (allegedly) low on sapphire volume last year, just trying to source enough for Touch ID & camera lens covers.

post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

You mean a product that was never going to happen is now on hold? How convenient.

Never going to happen? The fact you personally don't see the need for it does not = never going to happen, sorry.

post #20 of 54
Should have used this as the headline and saved us from reading: "Rumored unannounced product facing rumored delays via Digitimes." Oh and stock price drops.
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Was it not DigiTimes AND Ming who introduced us to the iPad Pro 12.9"? How interesting it is being reported there is a delay and/or cancellation of the device.

Its March, and we haven't seen a leaked part or shell. Therefore, its not as close to production as they though, so its time to back track...starting with the word "Delay"...until it gets to June with nothing, at which point it will be "Shelved".

post #22 of 54

Wait.  Digitimes said it?

 

Then it is wrong, and the iPad Pro therefore will be released soon!  WooHoo!

post #23 of 54
Th
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

Was it not DigiTimes AND Ming who introduced us to the iPad Pro 12.9"? How interesting it is being reported there is a delay and/or cancellation of the device.
those that giveth, taketh away
post #24 of 54

Digitimes, shut up

post #25 of 54

The iPad is a thing of beauty at the moment, the iPad Air is a joy to use. This is breathing room to look at other products, such as whatever their new thing will be.

post #26 of 54
The Jumbo pad rumor was preposterous from the start, so no news there. And on the second rumor, I will give a far east source the benefit of the doubt on rumors happening on there side of the hemisphere, but having inside info from ARIZONA? ...Yeah right.
post #27 of 54
...
When it’s operating at full capacity, this plant is going to be producing as much as two times the current worldwide capacity,” he said. The factory will be able to make enough sapphire for 80 million to 100 million iPhones a year..."
...

...
"... estimated that GT could make sapphire screens at $6.40 per unit and they would be sold for $8.00 unit."
...
"... estimated that 42m units could be made in 2014 and more than 85 million in 2015."
...
"...estimate was based on modeling a much larger Samsung phone, however Apple is likely to be under 5 inches and not close to 5.5 inches, which would increase the yield estimate by 30% or more."

Emphasis is mine.
Edited by MacBook Pro - 3/14/14 at 12:57pm
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
 

iPad Pro is an incredibly stupid idea when you consider the size, utility, and awesomeness of the MacBook Air. I don’t believe Apple would be dumb enough to consider such a move.

Ikrupp, tried adding my comment to thumbs up but it screws up thinking I had too many letters. Regular problem.

I had four more letters  available yet got the “too many characters message”. Should have gone ‘cancel’ I guess, but retried instead & changed it to the following (56 spaces and letters):

“iPad too large. Mini next for me. 13’ iPad overkill. DOA"

Regardless, agree with your idea. “stupid idea” is blunt but hits gold for truth. Top podium.

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When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

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post #29 of 54
Rumor. Rumor. No substantiation. No knowledge of Apples plans
post #30 of 54

It could just be a large "family tablet" like those Dell all-in-ones, in which case "pro" would be a misnomer. Which it should be, because I can't imagine anyone lugging that to work every day.

post #31 of 54

Apple supply chain rumors: 'iPad Pro' on hold, sapphire production limited

This smells like a real stinker,   the recipe :   take 1 part A ( constrained sapphire availability) mix with 1 part B (  unannounced imagined product)

sprinkle generously  with c (  unforeseen catastrophic delays) ,   blend and serve warm to eager publishing community .  

 

I could do this all day  Try it for yourself...   let's all serve up this annoying tripe    Any standards  AI ?  Any?

post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emes View Post
 

It could just be a large "family tablet" like those Dell all-in-ones, in which case "pro" would be a misnomer. Which it should be, because I can't imagine anyone lugging that to work every day.

"lugging" 

 

post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
 

 

I believe a general consumer would rather have a thin lightweight tablet than a full fledged Mac. MacBook Air is on its way out IMO. What does it do for an everyday consumer than an iPad doesn't?

 

Being a Macbook instead of a tablet: USB3, T-bolt and OS X, for three.  It's a totally different animal, similar only in that it's thin and light.  

 

IOS and OS X are complementary to the max, but there are times when someone just wants to be in OS X.  And if certain kinds of work are in the cards the MBA is still a good pick.  Let's face it: an iPad isn't the right tool for everything.


Edited by jlandd - 3/14/14 at 2:10pm
post #34 of 54
Well I'm still hoping to see the iMaxi-Pad this year!
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

I believe a general consumer would rather have a thin lightweight tablet than a full fledged Mac. MacBook Air is on its way out IMO. What does it do for an everyday consumer than an iPad doesn't?

You might be right in the long term regarding everyday consumers. As to the use for a larger tablet, there maybe a pro market in music and graphics just as there is with the 'Mac Pro' for Mac users.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post
 

"lugging" 

 

 

 

Instead of linking non-Apple products to make them look bad, you could have linked to Apple products such as these.  But I guess it would not have been as much fun.

 

 

 

post #37 of 54
Are they hinting a large IPad with sapphire screen?
post #38 of 54
An iPad Pro would be a great idea for the Pro market. I can see music/audio and photoetc users for it. It is not intended to be a mass market product I would think.

Aperture for iOS
GarageBand Pro
Pro Tools for iOS

Etc.
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emes View Post

It could just be a large "family tablet" like those Dell all-in-ones, in which case "pro" would be a misnomer. Which it should be, because I can't imagine anyone lugging that to work every day.
People lug 15" laptops around all day, for many a 12" iPad would be a huge improvement.
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Instead of linking non-Apple products to make them look bad, you could have linked to Apple products such as these.  But I guess it would not have been as much fun.


Hey now I always liked the form factor of the Mac Plus. The portability of the new Mac Pro kinda reminds me of that machine. Obviously the screen isn't included and there is a massive difference in performance but the idea of a desktop class computer that travels well has always been a positive with me.

In fact Apple could stuff an LCD into a similar box and I'd be willing to invest in one. With modern chips performance would be good. Of course much of the software world depends upon large screens these days, so at best you will have compromises, but apps written for the machine would not be a problem.

Oh by the way I know about the iMac and frankly there is no contest here with respect to a portable desktop computer. IMac is large and frankly unstable in places where a Mac Plus like machine would be right at home.
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