Apple Watch Series 6 to Feature Blood Oxygen Monitoring Sensor

The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it’s launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes.


‌Apple Watch‌ 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the new device to continue to lead in measurement precision among wearable devices, the sources said.

The Taiwan-based website’s sources say that the next-generation ‌Apple Watch‌ has undergone “smooth development” thanks to close collaboration between Apple and Taiwanese company ASE Technology, which has obtained major backend orders for the device.

Leaked code found in iOS 14 has previously suggested Apple is working on an ‌Apple Watch‌ that can detect blood oxygen levels.

Based on the discovered code, Apple will provide notifications when blood oxygen levels drop below a healthy threshold, which is right around 95 to 100 percent saturation. A drop in blood oxygen level can suggest a serious respiratory or cardiac problem.

It was not clear from the code if the feature would be limited to new ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6 devices or if it would come as a software update in watchOS 7, but today’s report suggests it may be exclusive to the Series 6.

When the original ‌‌‌Apple Watch‌‌‌ was released back in 2015, iFixit actually discovered that Apple’s heart sensors have the capability to monitor blood oxygen levels, but Apple has never activated it.

Other smartwatch and fitness tracker makers including Google-owned Fitbit already offer blood oxygen monitoring features in some of their wearable devices, so Apple is playing catch-up in the area, but that could mean the company has a more advanced implementation of the feature in the works.

‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6 models, which are in development for a fall launch, are rumored to feature faster performance, better water resistance and improved wireless transmission for faster Wi-Fi and cellular speeds.

These improvements will be made in part through a rumored swap to liquid crystal polymer or LCP material for the flexible circuit boards expected to be included in the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it's launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes.

‌Apple Watch‌ 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the new device to continue to lead in measurement precision among wearable devices, the sources said.
The Taiwan-based website's sources say that the next-generation ‌Apple Watch‌ has undergone "smooth development" thanks to close collaboration between Apple and Taiwanese company ASE Technology, which has obtained major backend orders for the device.

Leaked code found in iOS 14 has previously suggested Apple is working on an ‌Apple Watch‌ that can detect blood oxygen levels.

Based on the discovered code, Apple will provide notifications when blood oxygen levels drop below a healthy threshold, which is right around 95 to 100 percent saturation. A drop in blood oxygen level can suggest a serious respiratory or cardiac problem.

It was not clear from the code if the feature would be limited to new ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6 devices or if it would come as a software update in watchOS 7, but today's report suggests it may be exclusive to the Series 6.

When the original ‌‌‌Apple Watch‌‌‌ was released back in 2015, iFixit actually discovered that Apple's heart sensors have the capability to monitor blood oxygen levels, but Apple has never activated it.

Other smartwatch and fitness tracker makers including Google-owned Fitbit already offer blood oxygen monitoring features in some of their wearable devices, so Apple is playing catch-up in the area, but that could mean the company has a more advanced implementation of the feature in the works.

‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6 models, which are in development for a fall launch, are rumored to feature faster performance, better water resistance and improved wireless transmission for faster Wi-Fi and cellular speeds.

These improvements will be made in part through a rumored swap to liquid crystal polymer or LCP material for the flexible circuit boards expected to be included in the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Gains Supplier of Super-Thin Circuit Boards for Upcoming Mini LED iPads and MacBooks

Apple will use super-thin rigid PCB boards provided by Tripod Technology in its upcoming mini LED-backlit iPads and MacBooks, according to a new report by DigiTimes.


Apple’s mini LED backlight modules will adopt three-layer rigid boards, which require higher flatness and hole density than general rigid PCBs to support mass transfer technology, with materials also having to achieve extremely low shrinkage/expansion rates, the sources said.

According to today’s report, Apple has brought Tripod into the supply chain for Apple’s forthcoming mini LED devices because of the manufacturer’s good cost control capability and production management.

The manufacturer will reportedly share orders for mini LED backlight modules with leading Taiwanese PCB supplier Zhen Ding Technology, but it will need to purchase high-precision drilling machines and other automation equipment to meet the requirement. The supplier is said to be beginning trial production of sample super-thin rigid boards, and could start volume production in early 2021.

Apple is eager to adopt mini-LED technology as it allows for thinner and lighter product designs, while offering many of the same benefits of OLED displays used on the latest iPhones, including good wide color gamut performance, high contrast and dynamic range, and local dimming for truer blacks.

Apple has six mini-LED products in the works that are set to debut in 2020 and 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple is said to be debuting the technology in a 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ for launch later this year, followed by a 27-inch iMac Pro, a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch ‌‌‌MacBook Pro‌‌‌, a 10.2.-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch ‌‌‌iPad‌‌‌ mini.

Kuo hasn’t given projected launch dates for the other devices with the exception of the ‌‌‌iMac Pro‌‌‌, which Kuo expects to launch in the fourth quarter of 2020, and the 7.9-inch ‌‌‌iPad‌‌‌ mini, which he says will launch in 2020.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iMac, iPad mini 5

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Apple will use super-thin rigid PCB boards provided by Tripod Technology in its upcoming mini LED-backlit iPads and MacBooks, according to a new report by DigiTimes.

Apple's mini LED backlight modules will adopt three-layer rigid boards, which require higher flatness and hole density than general rigid PCBs to support mass transfer technology, with materials also having to achieve extremely low shrinkage/expansion rates, the sources said.
According to today's report, Apple has brought Tripod into the supply chain for Apple's forthcoming mini LED devices because of the manufacturer's good cost control capability and production management.

The manufacturer will reportedly share orders for mini LED backlight modules with leading Taiwanese PCB supplier Zhen Ding Technology, but it will need to purchase high-precision drilling machines and other automation equipment to meet the requirement. The supplier is said to be beginning trial production of sample super-thin rigid boards, and could start volume production in early 2021.

Apple is eager to adopt mini-LED technology as it allows for thinner and lighter product designs, while offering many of the same benefits of OLED displays used on the latest iPhones, including good wide color gamut performance, high contrast and dynamic range, and local dimming for truer blacks.

Apple has six mini-LED products in the works that are set to debut in 2020 and 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple is said to be debuting the technology in a 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ for launch later this year, followed by a 27-inch iMac Pro, a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, a 16-inch ‌‌‌MacBook Pro‌‌‌, a 10.2.-inch iPad, and a 7.9-inch ‌‌‌iPad‌‌‌ mini.

Kuo hasn't given projected launch dates for the other devices with the exception of the ‌‌‌iMac Pro‌‌‌, which Kuo expects to launch in the fourth quarter of 2020, and the 7.9-inch ‌‌‌iPad‌‌‌ mini, which he says will launch in 2020.
Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iMac, iPad mini 5

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DigiTimes: Second-Gen AirPods Pro to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Apple will launch a next-generation version of AirPods Pro in the second half of next year, according to a new report today.

AirPods Pro
According to DigiTimes sources, at least some of the next-gen ‌AirPods Pro‌ models will be assembled by Inventec Appliances in Vietnam, with current generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ manufacturers Luxshare and GoerTek also taking a share.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often reliably predicts Apple’s product plans, has previously said that Apple is working on a second-generation version of the ‌AirPods Pro‌ that will go into mass production into the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, suggesting no ‌AirPods Pro‌ refresh in 2020 or early 2021.

Future AirPods could include light sensors, which could be used for health monitoring features. DigiTimes has suggested the new sensors could be included in ‌AirPods‌ in one to two years. Health monitoring features could let the ‌AirPods‌ monitor heart rate, step counts, and health conditions, as well as detect head movements.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a third-generation version of the lower-end ‌AirPods‌, for a planned rollout in the first half of 2021. Kuo originally said the third-generation ‌AirPods‌ will look similar to the current ‌AirPods‌ with no design changes, but later said that the new ‌AirPods‌ will feature a form factor design “similar to ‌AirPods Pro‌.”

The third-generation ‌AirPods‌ are expected to adopt a more compact system-in-package (SiP) that’s similar to the internals of the ‌AirPods Pro‌, which will allow the audio features of the ‌AirPods‌ to be integrated into a casing more similar in design to the ‌AirPods Pro‌.

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

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Apple will launch a next-generation version of AirPods Pro in the second half of next year, according to a new report today.

AirPods Pro
According to DigiTimes' sources, at least some of the next-gen ‌AirPods Pro‌ models will be assembled by Inventec Appliances in Vietnam, with current generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ manufacturers Luxshare and GoerTek also taking a share.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often reliably predicts Apple's product plans, has previously said that Apple is working on a second-generation version of the ‌AirPods Pro‌ that will go into mass production into the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, suggesting no ‌AirPods Pro‌ refresh in 2020 or early 2021.

Future AirPods could include light sensors, which could be used for health monitoring features. DigiTimes has suggested the new sensors could be included in ‌AirPods‌ in one to two years. Health monitoring features could let the ‌AirPods‌ monitor heart rate, step counts, and health conditions, as well as detect head movements.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a third-generation version of the lower-end ‌AirPods‌, for a planned rollout in the first half of 2021. Kuo originally said the third-generation ‌AirPods‌ will look similar to the current ‌AirPods‌ with no design changes, but later said that the new ‌AirPods‌ will feature a form factor design "similar to ‌AirPods Pro‌."

The third-generation ‌AirPods‌ are expected to adopt a more compact system-in-package (SiP) that's similar to the internals of the ‌AirPods Pro‌, which will allow the audio features of the ‌AirPods‌ to be integrated into a casing more similar in design to the ‌AirPods Pro‌.
Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro

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Apple’s 2020 5G iPhones to Support Both Sub-6GHz and mmWave, But That Might Change in 2021

Apple’s 2020 iPhone lineup will feature 5G support for the first time, and several rumors have suggested that the new iPhones coming this year are expected to support both sub-6GHz and mmWave networks, which are two different 5G technologies that carriers are rolling out.


mmWave, the fastest 5G technology, will be used in dense urban areas like major cities, while sub-6GHz networks will be available more broadly in suburban and urban areas. Sub-6GHz technology is faster than 4G, but not as fast as mmWave and not responsible for some of the blazing fast speeds advertised when companies talk about 5G technology.

DigiTimes is out today with a new preliminary report that indicates all 2020 iPhones will feature support for mmWave and sub-6GHz networks, but suggests Apple will take a different approach in 2021.

Some of the 2021 ‌iPhone‌ models may feature single 5G band support, working on either mmWave or sub-6GHz networks, but not both.

Apple’s 2020 series of iPhones will work on both sub-6GHz and millimeter wave 5G networks, and the vendor is considering introducing its iPhones supporting either mmWave or sub-6GHz for specific markets next year, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

The iPhones with limited support would be introduced in specific markets where one technology is more predominantly used than the other. Some countries, for example, will not have support for mmWave networks, which makes the inclusion of mmWave support less important and could cut down on modem costs for future iPhones.

There have been some 2020 iPhone rumors, including from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that have suggested Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup will also feature devices that may not have mmWave support enabled in some countries.

All of the 2020 iPhones are expected to have the same modem hardware that supports all 5G bands, but Apple could disable mmWave in countries where it is not operational or turn off 5G entirely in countries without 5G networks to reduce its production costs as antennas are required to work with the modem hardware.

DigiTimes‘ report suggests that the 2021 iPhones could perhaps have different hardware that only supports one network, rather than Apple disabling hardware, but we’ll have to wait to see what happens with the 2020 iPhones to get a better picture of what we can expect for the 2021 ‌iPhone‌ lineup as the rumors about which iPhones will support which networks are somewhat confusing at this time.

DigiTimes‘ report today is a preliminary report and it will be updated with more information in the future, and if there’s more detail to include, we’ll update this article. For more on what to expect from the 2020 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, make sure to check out our iPhone 12 roundup.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup will feature 5G support for the first time, and several rumors have suggested that the new iPhones coming this year are expected to support both sub-6GHz and mmWave networks, which are two different 5G technologies that carriers are rolling out.


mmWave, the fastest 5G technology, will be used in dense urban areas like major cities, while sub-6GHz networks will be available more broadly in suburban and urban areas. Sub-6GHz technology is faster than 4G, but not as fast as mmWave and not responsible for some of the blazing fast speeds advertised when companies talk about 5G technology.

DigiTimes is out today with a new preliminary report that indicates all 2020 iPhones will feature support for mmWave and sub-6GHz networks, but suggests Apple will take a different approach in 2021.

Some of the 2021 ‌iPhone‌ models may feature single 5G band support, working on either mmWave or sub-6GHz networks, but not both.
Apple's 2020 series of iPhones will work on both sub-6GHz and millimeter wave 5G networks, and the vendor is considering introducing its iPhones supporting either mmWave or sub-6GHz for specific markets next year, according to industry sources in Taiwan.
The iPhones with limited support would be introduced in specific markets where one technology is more predominantly used than the other. Some countries, for example, will not have support for mmWave networks, which makes the inclusion of mmWave support less important and could cut down on modem costs for future iPhones.

There have been some 2020 iPhone rumors, including from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that have suggested Apple's iPhone 12 lineup will also feature devices that may not have mmWave support enabled in some countries.

All of the 2020 iPhones are expected to have the same modem hardware that supports all 5G bands, but Apple could disable mmWave in countries where it is not operational or turn off 5G entirely in countries without 5G networks to reduce its production costs as antennas are required to work with the modem hardware.

DigiTimes' report suggests that the 2021 iPhones could perhaps have different hardware that only supports one network, rather than Apple disabling hardware, but we'll have to wait to see what happens with the 2020 iPhones to get a better picture of what we can expect for the 2021 ‌iPhone‌ lineup as the rumors about which iPhones will support which networks are somewhat confusing at this time.

DigiTimes' report today is a preliminary report and it will be updated with more information in the future, and if there's more detail to include, we'll update this article. For more on what to expect from the 2020 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, make sure to check out our iPhone 12 roundup.
Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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DigiTimes: Arm-Based 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air to Ship By End of 2020

Apple will release its first Arm-based 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air by the end of 2020, according to a new DigiTimes report today.


Taiwan’s supply chain will begin shipping backlit units (BLUs) and other components for the next-generation MacBooks in the third quarter of the year, which could be interpreted as meaning anytime between now and September.

As Apple is set to release 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ and ‌MacBook Air‌, powered by Apple Silicon, by the end of this year, total shipments of MacBook lineup are expected to reach 16-17 million units in 2020 compared to 14.5-15.5 million units shipped a year earlier, the sources estimated.

At WWDC in June, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown ‌Apple Silicon‌ chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first ‌‌Apple Silicon‌‌ Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years.

DigiTimes‘ latest prediction pegs the launch of ‌Apple Silicon‌ Macs a little earlier than analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has said he expects an Arm-based ‌MacBook Air‌ either in the fourth quarter or in the first quarter of next year. Kuo also believes that an Arm-based 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ will arrive by the end of the year.

Apple will reportedly rely heavily on TSMC for the Arm-based silicon destined for its Macs. The semiconductor foundry is expected to ramp up its wafer sales in the second half of 2021, according to a separate DigiTimes report today.

TSMC will fabricate Apple’s custom chips for the Mac using 5nm process technology, with production still in small volume during the first half of 2021, the sources noted, but the output will expand substantially later next year.

ASMedia is said to be another supplier for Apple’s Arm-based Macs, and will also see orders for the devices start contributing substantially to company revenue in the second half of 2021. ASMedia reportedly will provide USB controllers for the new Macs.

Today’s report also claims that parts for a new “more affordable” 10.8-inch iPad with a “high performance chip” will start shipping in the latter half of this year. This prediction aligns a little more favorably with Kuo’s latest thoughts on Apple’s ‌iPad‌ roadmap.

Likewise, Kuo believes Apple is working on a new 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ that’s set to be released in the second half of 2020. However, it’s unclear if Apple plans to introduce a larger ‌iPad‌ or if the increase in size will be implemented through a bezel reduction, and other rumors have suggested that this updated ‌iPad‌ could actually be an ‌iPad‌ Air, so we’re waiting to see what Apple has in store for the low-cost ‌iPad‌ in the future.

According to a leaker that has provided accurate information about Apple’s plans in the past, Apple’s next-generation low-cost ‌iPad‌ will feature an A12 chip inside, an upgrade from the A10 Fusion chip in the seventh-generation model.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

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Apple will release its first Arm-based 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air by the end of 2020, according to a new DigiTimes report today.


Taiwan's supply chain will begin shipping backlit units (BLUs) and other components for the next-generation MacBooks in the third quarter of the year, which could be interpreted as meaning anytime between now and September.
As Apple is set to release 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ and ‌MacBook Air‌, powered by Apple Silicon, by the end of this year, total shipments of MacBook lineup are expected to reach 16-17 million units in 2020 compared to 14.5-15.5 million units shipped a year earlier, the sources estimated.
At WWDC in June, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown ‌Apple Silicon‌ chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first ‌‌Apple Silicon‌‌ Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years.

DigiTimes' latest prediction pegs the launch of ‌Apple Silicon‌ Macs a little earlier than analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has said he expects an Arm-based ‌MacBook Air‌ either in the fourth quarter or in the first quarter of next year. Kuo also believes that an Arm-based 13-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ will arrive by the end of the year.

Apple will reportedly rely heavily on TSMC for the Arm-based silicon destined for its Macs. The semiconductor foundry is expected to ramp up its wafer sales in the second half of 2021, according to a separate DigiTimes report today.
TSMC will fabricate Apple's custom chips for the Mac using 5nm process technology, with production still in small volume during the first half of 2021, the sources noted, but the output will expand substantially later next year.
ASMedia is said to be another supplier for Apple's Arm-based Macs, and will also see orders for the devices start contributing substantially to company revenue in the second half of 2021. ASMedia reportedly will provide USB controllers for the new Macs.

Today's report also claims that parts for a new "more affordable" 10.8-inch iPad with a "high performance chip" will start shipping in the latter half of this year. This prediction aligns a little more favorably with Kuo's latest thoughts on Apple's ‌iPad‌ roadmap.

Likewise, Kuo believes Apple is working on a new 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ that's set to be released in the second half of 2020. However, it's unclear if Apple plans to introduce a larger ‌iPad‌ or if the increase in size will be implemented through a bezel reduction, and other rumors have suggested that this updated ‌iPad‌ could actually be an ‌iPad‌ Air, so we're waiting to see what Apple has in store for the low-cost ‌iPad‌ in the future.

According to a leaker that has provided accurate information about Apple's plans in the past, Apple's next-generation low-cost ‌iPad‌ will feature an A12 chip inside, an upgrade from the A10 Fusion chip in the seventh-generation model.
Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

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Apple Could See 20% On-Quarter Growth in 3Q20 MacBook Shipments

Apple will “significantly increase” MacBook Pro orders with suppliers in the third quarter of this year as the back-to-school season kicks off, according to supply chain sources.


DigiTimes reports that Apple is also set to respond to increasing sales in the creative market, with the number of professionals working from home expected to remain strong in the second half of the year as some countries begin re-imposing regional and city lockdowns in response to the continuing global health crisis.

The upstream supply chain originally believed demand from the work-from-home group would only be short-term, but is now expecting the momentum to last much longer than anticipated, the sources said.

Apple shipped 3.2-3.5 million MacBooks in the second quarter of 2020, and the volumes are expected to grow to around four million units in the third quarter, according to DigiTimes sources. Apple will see its overall MacBook shipments rise over 20 percent in the third quarter as a result.

Apple has said it plans to deliver the first ‌Mac powered by Apple Silicon by the end of the year, as the two-year-long transition away from Intel commences, but we don’t know for sure when the first Arm-based Mac will arrive or which model it will be.

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch ‌‌MacBook Pro‌‌ could be the first Mac to get an Arm-based chip designed by Apple.

Kuo expects the ‌‌Apple Silicon‌‌ 13.3-inch ‌‌MacBook Pro‌‌ to go into mass production in the fourth quarter of this year, but he also predicts we will see an Arm-based MacBook Air either in the same quarter or in the first quarter of next year.

Apple is also expected to launch a redesigned ‌iMac‌ this year, although it’s not expected to be an ‌‌Apple Silicon‌‌ machine. Apple has said it still has Intel-based Macs in the pipeline, suggesting they are likely to arrive before the year’s end.

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Apple will "significantly increase" MacBook Pro orders with suppliers in the third quarter of this year as the back-to-school season kicks off, according to supply chain sources.


DigiTimes reports that Apple is also set to respond to increasing sales in the creative market, with the number of professionals working from home expected to remain strong in the second half of the year as some countries begin re-imposing regional and city lockdowns in response to the continuing global health crisis.
The upstream supply chain originally believed demand from the work-from-home group would only be short-term, but is now expecting the momentum to last much longer than anticipated, the sources said.
Apple shipped 3.2-3.5 million MacBooks in the second quarter of 2020, and the volumes are expected to grow to around four million units in the third quarter, according to DigiTimes sources. Apple will see its overall MacBook shipments rise over 20 percent in the third quarter as a result.

Apple has said it plans to deliver the first ‌Mac powered by Apple Silicon by the end of the year, as the two-year-long transition away from Intel commences, but we don't know for sure when the first Arm-based Mac will arrive or which model it will be.

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch ‌‌MacBook Pro‌‌ could be the first Mac to get an Arm-based chip designed by Apple.

Kuo expects the ‌‌Apple Silicon‌‌ 13.3-inch ‌‌MacBook Pro‌‌ to go into mass production in the fourth quarter of this year, but he also predicts we will see an Arm-based MacBook Air either in the same quarter or in the first quarter of next year.

Apple is also expected to launch a redesigned ‌iMac‌ this year, although it's not expected to be an ‌‌Apple Silicon‌‌ machine. Apple has said it still has Intel-based Macs in the pipeline, suggesting they are likely to arrive before the year's end.
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Apple Bolsters Supply Chain for Future Mini-LED iPad Pro and MacBook Pro Models

Apple is rumored to be releasing a mini LED-backlit iPad Pro and a new mini-LED MacBook Pro series over the next 18 months, and the devices have just picked up two new suppliers, according to industry sources.


DigiTimes today reports that two former Apple suppliers, Taiwan’s Zhen Ding Technology and Flexium Interconnect, have entered the supply chain to make the flexible printed circuit boards for the mini-LED devices.

The two PCB makers will reportedly compete with their South Korean peer Young Poong Electronics for the higher shipment ratio of flexible boards required, and are well placed to gain a larger portion of shipment orders because they boast better flexible board manufacturing technology capability.

Both firms are expected to start small-volume shipments of mini LED-backlit modules in the fourth quarter of 2020 to support the launch of new ‌iPad Pro‌ in the first quarter of 2021, the sources said. As such modules are likely to become standard specs for diverse new iPads and MacBooks, Zhen Ding and Flexium can secure a new profitable outlet for their flexible boards, the sources noted.

Apple is rumored to be planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ with a mini-LED display and 5G in 2021. Apple was originally planning to launch the device in the fall of 2020, but is reportedly unable to meet that deadline with the global health crisis, and now multiple sources suggest a 2021 launch. DigiTimes claims we could see the device as early as the first quarter of next year, while leaker L0vetodream has claimed they won’t arrive until the second quarter.

Apple is also working on a 14.1-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ and an updated 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ with a mini-LED display, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, although the roadmap for these machines is far from clear.

While Kuo has said the mini-LED version of the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ is slated for the fall of 2020, he hasn’t provided launch information for the 14.1-inch model that Apple is working on, beyond suggesting that there are several mini-LED devices in the works for 2020 and 2021. Meanwhile, L0vetodream has claimed the 14.1-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ won’t be launching until 2021.


DigiTimes has previously claimed that Apple will launch multiple Mac notebook models with mini-LED backlit displays by the end of 2020, and Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said in April that Apple plans to introduce a 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ in October or November, but it’s not clear if this refresh features a mini-LED display.

Ultimately, work on all the mini-LED devices may have been pushed back to 2021. This includes the 16-inch mini-LED ‌MacBook Pro‌, and multiple sources now suggest a 2021 launch for the machine.

The future mini-LED displays will use approximately 10,000 LEDs, with each one below 200 microns in size. Mini-LED will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, offering many of the same benefits as OLED like better wide color gamut, high contrast and dynamic range, and local dimming for truer blacks. Kuo believes the mini-LED technology will “significantly improve productivity and the entertainment experience.”

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Pro

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Apple is rumored to be releasing a mini LED-backlit iPad Pro and a new mini-LED MacBook Pro series over the next 18 months, and the devices have just picked up two new suppliers, according to industry sources.


DigiTimes today reports that two former Apple suppliers, Taiwan's Zhen Ding Technology and Flexium Interconnect, have entered the supply chain to make the flexible printed circuit boards for the mini-LED devices.

The two PCB makers will reportedly compete with their South Korean peer Young Poong Electronics for the higher shipment ratio of flexible boards required, and are well placed to gain a larger portion of shipment orders because they boast better flexible board manufacturing technology capability.
Both firms are expected to start small-volume shipments of mini LED-backlit modules in the fourth quarter of 2020 to support the launch of new ‌iPad Pro‌ in the first quarter of 2021, the sources said. As such modules are likely to become standard specs for diverse new iPads and MacBooks, Zhen Ding and Flexium can secure a new profitable outlet for their flexible boards, the sources noted.
Apple is rumored to be planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ with a mini-LED display and 5G in 2021. Apple was originally planning to launch the device in the fall of 2020, but is reportedly unable to meet that deadline with the global health crisis, and now multiple sources suggest a 2021 launch. DigiTimes claims we could see the device as early as the first quarter of next year, while leaker L0vetodream has claimed they won't arrive until the second quarter.

Apple is also working on a 14.1-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ and an updated 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ with a mini-LED display, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, although the roadmap for these machines is far from clear.

While Kuo has said the mini-LED version of the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ is slated for the fall of 2020, he hasn't provided launch information for the 14.1-inch model that Apple is working on, beyond suggesting that there are several mini-LED devices in the works for 2020 and 2021. Meanwhile, L0vetodream has claimed the 14.1-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ won't be launching until 2021.


DigiTimes has previously claimed that Apple will launch multiple Mac notebook models with mini-LED backlit displays by the end of 2020, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said in April that Apple plans to introduce a 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ in October or November, but it's not clear if this refresh features a mini-LED display.

Ultimately, work on all the mini-LED devices may have been pushed back to 2021. This includes the 16-inch mini-LED ‌MacBook Pro‌, and multiple sources now suggest a 2021 launch for the machine.

The future mini-LED displays will use approximately 10,000 LEDs, with each one below 200 microns in size. Mini-LED will allow for thinner and lighter product designs, offering many of the same benefits as OLED like better wide color gamut, high contrast and dynamic range, and local dimming for truer blacks. Kuo believes the mini-LED technology will "significantly improve productivity and the entertainment experience."
Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Pro

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Shipments of mmWave 5G iPhones Could Be Much Weaker Than Expected This Year

The latest shipment estimates for Apple’s upcoming mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones are several million units lower than previously expected, which is intensifying competition among suppliers of AiP substrates, reports DigiTimes.


Shipments of mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones slated for launch later this year are estimated to reach only 15-20 million units in 2020 compared to a previous supply chain estimate of 30-40 million units, intensifying competition among Apple’s suppliers of FC-AiP substrates for the new phones, according to industry sources.

Apple is believed to be designing its own antenna-in-package or “AiP” module for mmWave iPhones, which use a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By contrast, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas.

According to DigiTimes, Apple’s AIP package is more cost-effective than previous designs, but some analysts believe that models with support for ultra-fast mmWave technology will likely launch after sub-6GHz models due to production challenges and the global health crisis. To counter these challenges, Apple has diversified its supply chain for the modules to minimize risk.

The upcoming mmWave 5G iPhones will adopt more cost-effective FC-AiP process, with ASE Technology to package AiP modules, the sources said. But Apple reportedly has finalized three suppliers of BT-based FC-AiP substrates, including one based in Taiwan and two in South Korea, and they will together supply 30-50 million substrates, the sources said, adding one iPhone will require 2-3 AiP modules.

Prior to the global health crisis, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was still on track to release both sub-6GHz and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave “iPhone 12” models simultaneously in the second half of 2020, with shipments beginning in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter.

Kuo has not indicated whether those plans have since changed, but other analysts have said they believe the mmWave iPhones may not arrive this year because Apple’s custom antenna-in-package is proving to be more of a battery drain than the company would like.

Kuo has said 5G iPhone models with mmWave would be available in five markets, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom. He also believes Apple may disable 5G functionality in countries that do not offer 5G service or have a shallow 5G penetration rate to reduce production costs.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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The latest shipment estimates for Apple's upcoming mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones are several million units lower than previously expected, which is intensifying competition among suppliers of AiP substrates, reports DigiTimes.

Shipments of mmWave-enabled 5G iPhones slated for launch later this year are estimated to reach only 15-20 million units in 2020 compared to a previous supply chain estimate of 30-40 million units, intensifying competition among Apple's suppliers of FC-AiP substrates for the new phones, according to industry sources.
Apple is believed to be designing its own antenna-in-package or "AiP" module for mmWave iPhones, which use a set of 5G frequencies that promise ultra-fast speeds at short distances, making it best suited for dense urban areas. By contrast, sub-6GHz 5G is generally slower than mmWave, but the signals travel further, better serving suburban and rural areas.

According to DigiTimes, Apple's AIP package is more cost-effective than previous designs, but some analysts believe that models with support for ultra-fast mmWave technology will likely launch after sub-6GHz models due to production challenges and the global health crisis. To counter these challenges, Apple has diversified its supply chain for the modules to minimize risk.
The upcoming mmWave 5G iPhones will adopt more cost-effective FC-AiP process, with ASE Technology to package AiP modules, the sources said. But Apple reportedly has finalized three suppliers of BT-based FC-AiP substrates, including one based in Taiwan and two in South Korea, and they will together supply 30-50 million substrates, the sources said, adding one iPhone will require 2-3 AiP modules.
Prior to the global health crisis, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was still on track to release both sub-6GHz and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave "iPhone 12" models simultaneously in the second half of 2020, with shipments beginning in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter.

Kuo has not indicated whether those plans have since changed, but other analysts have said they believe the mmWave iPhones may not arrive this year because Apple's custom antenna-in-package is proving to be more of a battery drain than the company would like.

Kuo has said 5G iPhone models with mmWave would be available in five markets, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom. He also believes Apple may disable 5G functionality in countries that do not offer 5G service or have a shallow 5G penetration rate to reduce production costs.
Related Roundup: iPhone 12

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DigiTimes Claims 2020 iPhones Will Use Qualcomm X60 Modem, Despite Previous Rumors Agreeing on X55

Apple is widely expected to release its first 5G iPhones later this year, and multiple sources have indicated that these models will be equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem, including analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and the Nikkei Asian Review.


To the contrary, a paywalled snippet from DigiTimes today claims that Apple’s chipmaking partner TSMC will begin manufacturing A14 chips and Snapdragon X60 modems this month for use in upcoming iPhones slated for launch later in 2020. This is the first time that we have seen this possibility mentioned.

TSMC to start chip production for next-gen iPhones in June

TSMC will start manufacturing Apple’s custom-designed A14 SoCs and Qualcomm’s X60 5G modem chips, with both set to power the upcoming iPhones slated for launch later in 2020, using 5nm process technology in June, according to industry sources.

Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the X55. Smartphones equipped with the X60 will also be able to aggregate data from both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously to achieve an optimal combination of high-speed and low-latency network coverage.

When the X60 was introduced in February, it seemed destined for 2021 iPhones rather than 2020 ones, as Apple needs adequate time for testing and production. Qualcomm itself said that 5G smartphones featuring the X60 are expected to begin launching in early 2021, so this rumor should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism for now.

DigiTimes is a Taiwanese publication with sources within Apple’s supply chain. The website is often dismissed as being wrong, but it shares correct information from time to time. In January, for example, it claimed that Apple planned to release a backlit keyboard with scissor switch keys for the iPad Pro. Two months later, the Magic Keyboard launched.

Apple typically announces new iPhones in September, but due to the global health crisis, there is a possibility of a slight delay to the launch plans.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

This article, “DigiTimes Claims 2020 iPhones Will Use Qualcomm X60 Modem, Despite Previous Rumors Agreeing on X55” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple is widely expected to release its first 5G iPhones later this year, and multiple sources have indicated that these models will be equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 modem, including analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and the Nikkei Asian Review.


To the contrary, a paywalled snippet from DigiTimes today claims that Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC will begin manufacturing A14 chips and Snapdragon X60 modems this month for use in upcoming iPhones slated for launch later in 2020. This is the first time that we have seen this possibility mentioned.
TSMC to start chip production for next-gen iPhones in June
TSMC will start manufacturing Apple's custom-designed A14 SoCs and Qualcomm's X60 5G modem chips, with both set to power the upcoming iPhones slated for launch later in 2020, using 5nm process technology in June, according to industry sources.
Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the X55. Smartphones equipped with the X60 will also be able to aggregate data from both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously to achieve an optimal combination of high-speed and low-latency network coverage.

When the X60 was introduced in February, it seemed destined for 2021 iPhones rather than 2020 ones, as Apple needs adequate time for testing and production. Qualcomm itself said that 5G smartphones featuring the X60 are expected to begin launching in early 2021, so this rumor should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism for now.

DigiTimes is a Taiwanese publication with sources within Apple's supply chain. The website is often dismissed as being wrong, but it shares correct information from time to time. In January, for example, it claimed that Apple planned to release a backlit keyboard with scissor switch keys for the iPad Pro. Two months later, the Magic Keyboard launched.

Apple typically announces new iPhones in September, but due to the global health crisis, there is a possibility of a slight delay to the launch plans.
Related Roundup: iPhone 12

This article, "DigiTimes Claims 2020 iPhones Will Use Qualcomm X60 Modem, Despite Previous Rumors Agreeing on X55" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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New iMac, 10.8-Inch iPad Air, and Larger iPad Mini Rumored to Launch in Second Half of 2020

Apple is gearing up to launch new iMac and iPad models in the second half of this year, according to DigiTimes, casting uncertainty on whether we’ll see a redesigned iMac at WWDC just 10 days from now as recently rumored.


The second half of the year begins just over a week after the WWDC keynote, so it’s possible we could see an announcement there with shipping happening a bit later, but DigiTimes would likely have used a more specific timeframe than the vague “second-half 2020” if the launch were that close.

DigiTimes also lists a series of new screen sizes for various iPads and the ‌iMac‌, although this appears to largely be a regurgitation of previous rumors.

Apple’s new offerings for second-half 2020 are likely to include a 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ Air and a 23-inch ‌iMac‌ device, with prospects to also release an 8.x-inch ‌iPad‌ mini and 12.9-inch iPad Pro with mini LED display in the first half of 2021, said the sources.

Apple is also expected to enlarge the size of 2020 ‌iPad‌ Air to 10.8-inch compared to the 10.2-inch one launched in 2019, said the sources, adding that volume production of the new ‌iPad‌ Air is to kick off in the third quarter 2020.

Major panel suppliers for the planned 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ Air include LG Display, BOE Technology and Sharp, with Radiant being the sole BLU supplier, the sources added.

The new 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ and 8- to 9-inch ‌iPad‌ mini sizes were previously rumored by Ming-Chi Kuo, while the 23-inch ‌iMac‌ size was mentioned by China Times in April.

There has been some uncertainty about this new 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ and whether it is a basic ‌iPad‌ or an ‌iPad‌ Air, and DigiTimes‘ report today only adds to the confusion by claiming that it is an ‌iPad‌ Air that will see an increase of from 10.2 inches to 10.8 inches. The ‌iPad‌ Air in fact has a 10.5-inch screen, while it is the entry-level ‌iPad‌ that has a 10.2-inch display.

Related Roundups: iMac, iPad mini 5, iPad Air

This article, “New iMac, 10.8-Inch iPad Air, and Larger iPad Mini Rumored to Launch in Second Half of 2020” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple is gearing up to launch new iMac and iPad models in the second half of this year, according to DigiTimes, casting uncertainty on whether we'll see a redesigned iMac at WWDC just 10 days from now as recently rumored.


The second half of the year begins just over a week after the WWDC keynote, so it's possible we could see an announcement there with shipping happening a bit later, but DigiTimes would likely have used a more specific timeframe than the vague "second-half 2020" if the launch were that close.

DigiTimes also lists a series of new screen sizes for various iPads and the ‌iMac‌, although this appears to largely be a regurgitation of previous rumors.
Apple's new offerings for second-half 2020 are likely to include a 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ Air and a 23-inch ‌iMac‌ device, with prospects to also release an 8.x-inch ‌iPad‌ mini and 12.9-inch iPad Pro with mini LED display in the first half of 2021, said the sources.

Apple is also expected to enlarge the size of 2020 ‌iPad‌ Air to 10.8-inch compared to the 10.2-inch one launched in 2019, said the sources, adding that volume production of the new ‌iPad‌ Air is to kick off in the third quarter 2020.

Major panel suppliers for the planned 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ Air include LG Display, BOE Technology and Sharp, with Radiant being the sole BLU supplier, the sources added.
The new 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ and 8- to 9-inch ‌iPad‌ mini sizes were previously rumored by Ming-Chi Kuo, while the 23-inch ‌iMac‌ size was mentioned by China Times in April.

There has been some uncertainty about this new 10.8-inch ‌iPad‌ and whether it is a basic ‌iPad‌ or an ‌iPad‌ Air, and DigiTimes' report today only adds to the confusion by claiming that it is an ‌iPad‌ Air that will see an increase of from 10.2 inches to 10.8 inches. The ‌iPad‌ Air in fact has a 10.5-inch screen, while it is the entry-level ‌iPad‌ that has a 10.2-inch display.
Related Roundups: iMac, iPad mini 5, iPad Air

This article, "New iMac, 10.8-Inch iPad Air, and Larger iPad Mini Rumored to Launch in Second Half of 2020" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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