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Mac and iPhone chip supply hit by gas contamination issue
by Paul Hill
According to a Nikkei report, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has been hit by a gas contamination leak at its Fab 18 factory that produces processors for Apple products such as the Mac and iPhone. The contamination was discovered on Thursday night with the issue being reported today, TSMC said that it quickly replaced the gas supply.
TSMC told Nikkei that the gas contamination leak should not cause significant delays to the chip manufacturing but it still has to take time to carry out checks to ensure there are no issues with production quality. According to sources speaking to Nikkei, the issue only affected manufacturing in a limited way and those employees who had gone home were called to return to the factory to get the situation under control.
Commenting on the incident, TSMC said:
The chips being manufactured at Fab 18 are destined for the latest iPhones and Mac which are expected to begin final assembly by the end of August. Currently, Apple is working with suppliers to finalise the components for its upcoming devices.
LG to sell iPhones in its South Korean stores starting from August
by Chandrakant Isi
LG has announced its plans to sell iPhones in its South Korean brick-and-mortar shops. Although a bit surprising, the move isn't completely outlandish once you consider that the South Korean giant quit making smartphones back in April. LG currently operates around 400 stores in South Korea, and it doesn't take a retail expert to figure that empty smartphone shelves are not good for your business.
As first reported by ZDNet, iPhone and other Apple products will start showing up in LG stores starting from August. For years, LG offered a variety of G and V series Android smartphones at hundreds of retail locations. While one could argue that Samsung's Android smartphones would have been a more relevant fit for LG stores, the two Korean companies are fierce competitors. Things have been quite hostile between them especially after Samsung accused a senior LG official of damaging its washing machines at IFA 2014 in Berlin.
Samsung might not be too happy with this news as it has been slowly losing market share to Apple in its home country. As per StatCounter, Samsung's market share has reduced from 65.6 percent in June 2020 to 63 percent in June 2021. In the same period, Apple's share increased from 23.4 percent to 27 percent.
It is reported that in a bid to protect smaller distributors in South Korea, brands such as Samsung and LG were only allowed to sell their own products in showrooms and experience centers. Hence, LG's plan to sell Apple products in its stores was met with resistance from the local phone distributors. However, LG eventually worked out a solution with the association that represents small distributors to stock Apple's devices.
By Usama Jawad96
Apple reports $81.4 billion in quarterly sales, hardware and services on the rise
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft and AMD revealed their quarterly revenues a few hours ago and both reported a strong positive surge. It appears that another tech giant, namely Apple, has done quite well too. The Cupertino firm has reported a whopping $81.4 billion in net sales, which is a 36% increase compared to the same quarter last year.
You can view the financial breakdown in detail here, but the meat of the matter is that Apple earned $81.4 billion in net sales in this quarter, up from $59.7 billion in the same quarter last year. Gross margins increased to $35.3 billion (up from $22.7 billion) headlined by strong growth in products and services. While cost of sales were higher in this quarter, they were offset by the similarly higher net sales, resulting in a healthy gross margin overall.
Meanwhile, net income almost doubled to $21.7 billion compared to $11.2 billion in the same quarter last year. In terms of regional breakdown for net sales, Americas and Europe led the pack with $35.9 billion and $18.9 billion respectively. China followed closely behind with $14.8 billion.
The Services category hit an all-time high of $17.5 billion in net sales. Apple will undoubtedly be pleased by how its hardware performed in terms of net sales across the board as well. The iPhone stood at $39.6 billion, up from $26.4 billion in the same quarter last year. Macs were at $8.2 billion, iPads commanded net sales of $7.4 billion, while wearables and accessories reported $8.8 billion.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had the following to say about the company's fiscal report:
Quarterly earnings per diluted and basic share now stand at $1.31 and $1.30 respectively. The board of directors has also declared a cash dividend of $0.22 from the company's common stock. This will be payable on August 12 for people who are shareholders as of close of business on August 9.
By Abhay V
Supposed Surface Duo 2 images leak, showing off a triple-camera array at the back [Update]
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft’s first Android device, the Surface Duo, was unveiled back in 2019 and went on sale later in 2020. While the device debuted an interesting form factor, the specifications were underwhelming for its price, thanks to the dated internal and lackluster camera performance. Now, images of what is believed to be the successor to the Surface Duo have surfaced on the web.
The leak was featured on a YouTube video from ‘Tech Rat’ showing off the device and providing an interesting look at the camera array. The images suggest that the Duo 2 houses a triple-camera system, in line with what is now becoming a bare minimum in smartphones. The first-gen device shipped with just a single underwhelming 12MP unit.
Images: Tech Rat (YouTube)Zac Bowden from Windows Central also confirmed the legitimacy of these images, providing further credence to the leak. Bowden adds that the array might include an ultra-wide-angle shooter, a telephoto lens, and a standard main camera. This makes the device more potent in the photography department, possibly justifying being priced like a flagship.
In addition to the images, the leaker claims that the device will be largely similar in dimension to that of its predecessor. However, there might be a larger display thanks to smaller bezels, housed in a device that sports a more rounded frame. The leaker also claims that the Redmond firm will add an NFC chip to the dual-screened phone, something that was absent on the original device. The folks over at Windows Central also seem to believe that the Duo 2 will feature flagship specs, such as a Snapdragon 888 SoC, which will also bring support for 5G. As for colors, the firm might be readying a black color option along with the Duo’s white color, with both the devices sporting a frosted back glass.
The addition of the camera array also seems to introduce a camera bump that might hinder the ability of the device to fold flat. It will be interesting to see if the device features a workaround for this, or if the company chooses function over form. It is also not clear whether the phone in the leaked images is an earlier prototype, and if the design has been tweaked since.
Microsoft is expected to launch the Surface Duo 2 sometime in September or October. With the first-gen Duo still running Android 10, it is anybody’s guess what the Duo 2 will ship with, in terms of software. There is also no word on what the price of the Duo 2 will be.
Update: The video seems to have been taken down by the YouTube user.
EE adds AppleCare to its insurance plans for iPhone users
by Paul Hill
EE has announced that customers who take out its Damage Cover or Full Cover insurance products will now be covered with AppleCare services too, including Apple-certified device repairs. The newly included AppleCare Services on EE will last the lifetime of the insurance policy for peace of mind.
With the changes, customers that have taken out insurance will be able to go to Apple Stores and Apple Authorised Service Providers and get priority access to Apple experts via webchat and over the phone at any time help is needed. One of the unique things about AppleCare with EE is that any excess costs from the repair of a device in the store can be added to your mobile bill for you to pay later. If you’re not near an Apple Store, EE has expanded its in-store repair service to 85 stores across the country where you can drop your phone off.
The Damage Cover with AppleCare Services starts at £5.99 per month. You’ll be able to get a next-day replacement device or take your phone to the Apple Store to be repaired, it covers accidental damage to the phone and in-box charging accessories, you get worldwide cover, unlimited damage claims, cover for breakdowns, a multi-policy discount, and a free Minute One Accessories Bundle worth £24.99 on selected devices.
The Full Cover insurance with AppleCare Services starts at £9.49 per month and offers all the services above plus next day replacement for loss or theft of a customers’ handset. Full Cover customers will also get a Minute One Premium Accessories Bundle worth £39.99 on selected devices.
To buy either of the insurance options, just select them while you’re in the process of purchasing a new phone from EE.