Apple Inc.’s China-centric manufacturing base is at risk of disruption after the Lunar New Year holiday as the company’s partners confront the coronavirus outbreak that has gripped the country and caused more than 100 deaths.
Virtually all of the world’s iPhones are made in China, primarily by Foxconn’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. at its so-called iPhone City in Zhengzhou and by Pegatron Corp. at an assembly site near Shanghai. Each of those locations is more than 500 kilometers away from Wuhan in central China, the epicenter of the viral outbreak, but that distance doesn’t immunize them from its effects.
“I can’t imagine a scenario where the supply chain isn’t disrupted,” said veteran industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. “If there’s one major hiccup in the raw materials, fabrication, assembly, test, and shipping, it will be a disruption.”
Apple has been increasing production to meet higher-than-anticipated iPhone demand, Bloomberg News reported last week. The company typically launches its new high-end iPhones around September, so the virus is unlikely to have meaningful impact on those plans, however the company is also preparing to begin mass production of a new low-cost iPhone in February, which is more at risk.
Apple has roughly 10,000 direct employees in China, across its retail and corporate entities. Its supply chain also has a few million workers manufacturing products like the iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. Many of those employees have been home the past few days for the holiday, and the company hasn’t said if it is asking them to stay home for longer to prevent the virus spreading. Chinese authorities have imposed severe travel restrictions and taken the drastic step of quarantining the entire city of Wuhan, a population of more than 11 million.
“Supply chain disruption is a worry if employees across Foxconn and other component manufacturing hubs in China are restricted,” said analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities Inc. “If the China outbreak becomes more spread it could negatively impact the supply chain which would be a major investor worry.”
An Apple spokeswoman declined a request for comment.
Foxconn said it is monitoring the situation in China and following all recommended health practices. It declined to comment on production in specific locations but said, “We can confirm that we have measures in place to ensure that we can continue to meet all global manufacturing obligations.”
Confirmed cases of the coronavirus are rising in Henan province — home to Zhengzhou facility — which may lead Hon Hai or the government to close factories to prevent further contamination, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Kanterman wrote. The province accounted for a quarter of China’s smartphone exports last year, while China’s exports make up 27% of global smartphone sales, he said, citing government and IDC data. Foxconn is estimated to account for more than 60% of Henan’s total trade.
The Cupertino, California-based company prepares for extreme scenarios such as the coronavirus by mandating that major components be dual-sourced — both in terms of vendors and geography — and a major immediate impact to its production plans is unlikely for now, according to a person familiar with its operations. Even so, the vast majority of its assembly work is done in China, and so a shortage of workers for assembly lines will have a direct impact on shipment numbers.
Apple put the redundancy policy in place after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan and led to component constraints for the iPad 2 that the company launched that year.
While Apple doesn’t have any stores in Wuhan, it does have dozens of retail locations across the Chinese mainland. The company hasn’t announced any closures yet, however it has shortened the opening hours of several stores in the country through Feb. 7, according to a review of its retail website. That shift could be due to the Chinese government extending the lunar holiday as a means to control the virus.
Along with its local workforce, Apple also relies on many of its U.S. staff going back and forth across the Pacific Ocean, with United Airlines Inc. last year revealing the company was spending US$35 million per year flying employees between San Francisco and Shanghai alone. That included 50 daily business-class seats, according to the airline. How the virus outbreak may affect the research and development efforts that those trips facilitate has yet to be established.
Investors and analysts will be looking to Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to make comments on the virus and its impact on Apple during Tuesday’s conference call to discuss the latest quarterly financial results. Cook tweeted over the weekend that Apple “will be donating to groups on the ground helping support all of those affected” by the virus.
Corning redefines tough with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 – PR Newswire
The newest Gorilla Glass better survives drops on rougher surfaces, like concrete
MUMBAI, India, Dec. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) today unveiled its newest glass innovation, Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus® 2. Corning continues to push the boundaries of glass by expanding its Corning® Gorilla® Glass portfolio. With a new glass composition, Gorilla Glass Victus 2 delivers improved drop performance on rough surfaces like concrete, the world’s most abundantly engineered material, while preserving the scratch resistance of Gorilla Glass Victus.
“Smartphones are the center of our digital lives, and the requirement for exceptional scratch and drop resistance has only increased with our growing reliance on clear, damage-free displays,” said David Velasquez, vice president and general manager, Gorilla Glass. “Surfaces matter, and rough surfaces like concrete are everywhere.”
Corning’s extensive research has shown that 84% of consumers across three of the largest smartphone markets – China, India, and the United States – cite durability as the number one purchasing consideration behind brand itself.
“We challenged our scientists not only to create a glass composition that was durable enough to better survive drops from waist height onto rougher surfaces than asphalt, but to improve cover-glass performance for larger and heavier devices,” said Velasquez. “With more sophisticated and varied designs, today’s smartphones are nearly 15% heavier, and screen sizes are up to 10% larger, than they were four years ago – increasing both the stress on the cover glass and the probability of damage. Gorilla Glass Victus 2 redefines tough for consumers and OEMs.”
In lab tests, Gorilla Glass Victus 2 survived drops of up to one meter on a surface replicating concrete. Competitive aluminosilicate glasses from other manufacturers typically failed when dropped from half a meter or less. In addition, Gorilla Glass Victus 2 continued to survive drops up to two meters on a surface replicating asphalt and maintained scratch resistance up to four times better than competitive aluminosilicate.
For more than a decade, Gorilla Glass has helped revolutionize communication and transform the mobile consumer electronics industry. With nearly half a billion global consumers yet to transition to smartphones, Gorilla Glass will continue to solve tough consumer challenges and meet the needs of current and future smartphone users.
Gorilla Glass Victus 2 is currently being evaluated by multiple customers and is expected to reach the market within the next few months.
Gorilla Glass has been designed into more than 8 billion devices by more than 45 major brands. Throughout the company’s Mobile Consumer Electronics (MCE) market access platform, Corning continues its legacy of innovation with its market-leading cover glasses as well as glass and optics for semiconductor products that enhance performance, deliver new connectivity features, enable new designs, and support immersive user experiences with augmented reality and 3D sensing.
About Corning Incorporated
Corning (www.corning.com) is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science, with a 170-year track record of life-changing inventions. Corning applies its unparalleled expertise in glass science, ceramic science, and optical physics along with its deep manufacturing and engineering capabilities to develop category-defining products that transform industries and enhance people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in RD&E, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and deep, trust-based relationships with customers who are global leaders in their industries. Corning’s capabilities are versatile and synergistic, which allows the company to evolve to meet changing market needs, while also helping its customers capture new opportunities in dynamic industries. Today, Corning’s markets include optical communications, mobile consumer electronics, display, automotive, solar, semiconductors, and life sciences.
Media relations contacts
SOURCE Corning Incorporated
Overwatch 2: Sojourn the Main Target of Nerfs in Season 2 Update – IGN
Blizzard Entertainment has revealed what we can expect from Season 2 of Overwatch 2, including balancing updates, limited-time events, skins, and more ahead of its December 6 launch date.
Alongside the introduction of the new Omnic revolutionary tank hero Ramattra and the winding Shambali Monastery Escort map, Season 2 is also bringing some important balancing changes, according to Blizzard Entertainment’s official blog post.
Most significantly, Blizzard Entertainment has moved to nerf the damage hero Sojourn, who according to a blog post on the company’s website has been dominating the high-skill competitive scene in recent weeks, while “remaining a challenge for players without the same mechanical skills”.
Overwatch 2: All 35 Heroes at Launch
To address the issue, the developers announced that they would be “focussing on the lethality of her Rail Gun at distance for Season 2”. This has been done to encourage players of all skills to use Sojurn’s mobility and her power slide to “close the distance for more devastating right-clicks”.
Doomfist — another tank — will also receive significant balancing tweaks to better reflect “his role as the team’s front line”. Ana, Bastion, Junker Queen, Kiriko, Mercy, and Symmetra will also be tweaked when the new season goes live on December 6, though Blizzard Entertainment has yet to reveal exactly how.
Next month’s launch will also bring a new map pool to Overwatch 2. Rialto and Blizzard World will be entering rotation alongside the new map Shambali Monastery. Oasis and Nepal will also be appearing “at different times of day”, while Hollywood and Watchpoint: Gibraltar will be rotated out.
Blizzard revealed details for the Greek mythology themed Season 2 Battle Pass. Progression rewards for the premium pass will include a Poseidon skin for Ramattra and a Hades costume for Pharah. The “pinnacle reward” for the pass is a Mythic Zeus skin for Junker Queen, which comes with “new customizations, weapon models, voice lines, and special effects”.
Season 2 is also set to bring three special events to the game. Winter Wonderland will run from December 13 – January 4, while the Lunar New Year event will start on January 17 and end on February 1.
Special skins will be up for grabs during each event, including “Epic Ice Queen Brigitte, Legendary Winged Victory Mercy, and Legendary Kkachi Echo.”
Sandwiched between these seasonal celebrations is the Battle for Olympus event, which will be around for a limited time from January 5 – 19. During this period players will be able to earn skins as they engage in a new game mode which will see certain heroes “imbued with awesome god-like powers”.
Finally, Season 2 will feature catch up challenges that will allow players to unlock heroes, including Kiriko from Season 1. To stay up to date and find out how to get the most out of your hero, be sure to check out more of IGN’s coverage of Overwatch 2.
Anthony is a freelance contributor covering science and video gaming news for IGN. He has over eight years experience of covering breaking developments in multiple scientific fields and absolutely no time for your shenanigans. Follow him on Twitter @BeardConGamer
Xiaomi 13 Pro camera detailed with a 1-inch main sensor, floating telephoto lens
The Xiaomi 13 series is arriving tomorrow, and today the company revealed some key features of the camera on the Pro member. According to the released teasers, the main shooter will have a 50 MP 1” Sony IMX989 sensor, while the telephoto camera will have 75mm equivalent, which is 3x magnification.
Xiaomi revealed how the new “floating” telephoto lens would work in a 20-second video – it is moving the elements closer to achieve infinite focus and take pictures of far objects; when it needs to take close-ups (up to 10 cm), the elements are moving away. The camera is developed with know-how from Leica, which once again is having its branding on the back of the phone.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro also appeared in a leaked hands-on video, revealing the camera design and some specs like MIUI 14 on top of Android 13, 8/128 GB memory variant and a Qualcomm chipset with 3.19 GHz CPU, which is unsurprisingly the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
We also got some punchy camera samples, but since they were posted on social media, they have been heavily compressed.
Camera samples at 3x zoom
Camera samples from up close
Camera samples of main 50 MP shooter
The Xiaomi 13 series is bringing LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0 storage for extra snappy performance. We expect a Xiaomi 13 and a Xiaomi 13 Pro at the December 1 event, as well as announcements of a Xiaomi Watch S2 wearable and the MIUI 14 interface.
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