Rumor: Apple looking to alternate suppliers for rigid flexible printed circuit boards for next-gen iPhone

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Date: Monday, July 17th, 2017, 05:48
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

Apple looks to be planning ahead for the production of its next-gen iPhone.

The company recently bought production equipment for rigid flexible printed circuit boards (RFPCBs) and is now leasing it to suppliers, hoping to secure a stable flow of parts for this fall’s “iPhone 8,” according to the Korea Herald and ET News.

The equipment is apparently worth “tens of millions of dollars” per one of three RFPCB suppliers. In an unexpected change, one of the three suppliers, a Taiwanese company, decided to back out of the chain, forcing Apple to assist the two South Korean firms still onboard. Sources have suggested that the Taiwanese company may have been upset by complicated production, tough quality requirements, and low profits.


Apple is said to be using RFPCBs for the new iPhone’s touchscreen panel, but the technology is also reportedly harder to manufacture than regular flexible or rigid circuit boards.

It’s said that Apple is searching for a replacement supplier in Korea. In the meantime, the remaining partners, Interflex and Youngpoong Electronics, could split a large chunk of the 100 million RFPCB units Apple is expected to order this year.

It’s also rumored that the next-gen iPhone could ship later than usual and that much-anticipated features such as 3D facial recognition and wireless charging could arrive via a software update down the line.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via AppleInsider, the Korea Herald and ET News

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