After a supplier pulled out of the agreement, Apple has reportedly purchased production equipment to ensure a key component of the iPhone 8 gets produced.
According to a report by The Korea Herald, Apple purchased production equipment that is for the rigid flexible printed circuit board (RFPCB). This is said to be an important part of the iPhone 8 which mainly connects chips to each part of the device including the camera and screen. The rigid flexible printed circuit board (RFPCB) conserves space by combining both flexible and rigid technologies in a single board which is considered to be more difficult to produce than a standard rigid or flexible PCBs.
The RFPCB is an upgraded version that is more difficult to make compared to the conventional rigid or flexible PCB. Apple will use the parts for the touch screen panel of the new iPhone, tentatively called iPhone 8.
Apple won’t use the equipment itself but rather lease it to suppliers to ensure the iPhone 8 is released in time. The equipment is said to have cost Apple “tens of millions of dollars”. According to the report, Apple made the pricey purchase after one of its three suppliers decided to back out of the deal.
“One of the three suppliers recently decided to back out,” a source told ET News on condition of anonymity, saying that the supplier is a Taiwanese manufacturer.
The exact reason why the Taiwanese supplier withdrew from the deal with a big client Apple was not revealed. But sources say the firm may have felt a pinch on the tricky production and strict quality requirements along with low profitability.
To make up for the loss, Apple is “supporting the other two suppliers, both Korean, to beef up production.” The Cupertino company is currently in the process of finding a new supplier within Korea.
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