Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Expanded: Unnamed sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Apple (AAPL) will add new supply chain partners in order to increase production of its iPad Mini and iPhone 5c to meet anticipated consumer demand. Compal Communications will begin assembling the iPad Mini next year. Apple will also tap Taiwan’s Wistron Corp. to build its iPhone 5c later this year. The changes to Apple’s supply chain come as it scrambles to meet expected demand for its tablets and smartphones. Apple’s main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, is reportedly concentrating on producing the new iPhone 5s, supplies of which are also constrained. Apple has reportedly increased orders for the iPhone 5s in response to soaring consumer demand, but is said to be looking to reduce its reliance on Foxconn, which has long been dogged by charges of improper labor practices. Apple was also reported to have returned a large number of last year’s iPhone 5 to Foxconn due to manufacturing defects.
Blame: When Apple releases its new Retina iPad Mini later this month, supplies of the new tablet will be very low due to a problem with some high-resolution screens made by Sharp, AppleInsider notes. A Korean news outlet says that Retina displays manufactured by Sharp are suffering from problems with thin-film transistor (TFT) implementation. The issue is causing burn-in on some screens, preventing Sharp from increasing production volumes. According to sources cited in the report, the burn-in cannot been seen visually; however, the affected panels don’t meet Apple’s display quality requirements. Sharp produces about 40% of Retina iPad Mini screens, with LG Display (LPL) manufacturing the remainder. Other recent rumors indicate that Apple has recently turned to mobile device rival Samsung to provide Retina screens for the new iPad Mini. Screens from Samsung won’t be available until next year. Apple’s new iPad Air hit store shelves on Nov. 1. Recent rumors say the iPad Mini will launch on or around Nov. 21.
Non-Gas App: The U.S. Department of Energy wants to help iPhone users who drive vehicles running on alternative fuels, TheVerge notes. The agency has unveiled an iOS app that will help drivers locate fueling stations for vehicles using natural gas, ethanol, hydrogen, propane and biodiesel fuels. It will also identify electrical charging stations. The app includes a database of more than 15,000 alternative fuel locations. The Energy Department maintains a similar web-based tool.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.