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Apple investing $10.5 billion on unique machinery to serve Jony Ive's design team visions

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Apple investing $10.5 billion on unique machinery to serve Jony Ive's design team visions
Apple is no stranger to actually inventing machines to suit the vision of Jony Ive's team, rather than the other way around. It made its own granite-based tool for measuring the motion sensor tech in its iPhones, as well as a process for laminating the display package to the cover glass, thus making devices thinner. Its engineers also developed mass application of a way to make anti-reflection coating particles stick to the screen with an electric charge - a process used before in medical equipment and telescope building, but never on a grand scale.

Now Apple is putting some of its cash pile to good use, Bloomberg reports, planning to invest $10.5 billion in more top-shelf manufacturing equipment for its current and future iPhones. The robots and precision milling, carving, polishing, and camera testing machines are to be situated at Apple's assemblers, but remain an exclusive property of Cupertino.

This could mean that Apple is both trying to secure competitive advantage for its manufacturing process going forward, buying out the most advanced production machinery out there, and at the same time aiming to exert more direct control over its manufacturing chain, whose relentless pursuit of thinning margins often results in stories of exploitation and worker suffering, that no doubt affect Apple's image. 

As per an analyst with Frost & Sullivan, who has dedicated some research on the tools of Apple's design trade: “Their designs are so unique that you have to have a very unique manufacturing process to make it. Apple has so much cash that they can invest in cutting-edge, world-class machinery that is typically used for aerospace and defense.”

In any case, $10.5 billion can buy a lot of NASA-grade equipment, so we are eager to find out about the designs that will come out of Cupertino, made possible by these machines.

source: Bloomberg

35 Comments
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posted on 14 Nov 2013, 02:47 9

1. sks1969 (Posts: 70; Member since: 04 Mar 2012)


No wonder their designs are the same since the first iphone :)

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 07:03 7

11. superfans (Posts: 131; Member since: 30 Jul 2012)


Even though it looks the same , iPhone is still the best looking smartphone out there.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 08:05 1

13. taikucing (unregistered)


hello... HTC One?

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 09:25 3

15. nortoja79 (Posts: 34; Member since: 21 Feb 2010)


like he said....still the best looking.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 09:30 6

17. Pancholo (Posts: 375; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


"...for me, iPhone is still the best looking smartphone out there."

There - fixed your typo. But cool story, bro.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 16:07 1

27. Finalflash (Posts: 1535; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Calm down people no need to start a flame war. This is strictly for manufacturing cups and not phones.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 07:50 2

12. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6196; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


They will probably still make the same design anyway.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 08:23 8

14. Ninetysix (Posts: 1445; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Porche will probably still make the same design anwyay.

http://www.autotrend.com/atg/graphics/00000001/56288.jpg

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 09:30 4

16. nortoja79 (Posts: 34; Member since: 21 Feb 2010)


lol...that was one of the best responses ever. epic my friend.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 09:33 3

18. Pancholo (Posts: 375; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Your statement would be valid only if you change Porsches as often as you change smartphones.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 10:35 2

19. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1560; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Way to compare a $300 device to a $80k+ car. Because they are totally the same thing....

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 11:20 5

22. Ninetysix (Posts: 1445; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Nothing wrong with my analogy broski. Why change something that is not broken?

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 11:34

23. saffant (Posts: 211; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)


It's called innovation.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 17:15

28. Finalflash (Posts: 1535; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Because it is broken...chips all over, scuffs all over, scratches like no other phone, gets bent for no reason, wifi/mobile internet signal blows, now even the software is broken, etc.

I mean if its so broken that it can't be fixed, I guess you can't change it. It's surprising that even idiots still pay for it.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 17:52 2

29. Ninetysix (Posts: 1445; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Guess which smartphone came up on top on last quarter's smartphone customer satisfaction? Come on...guess...

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 19:14 1

30. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


Hahaha 96 u rock man!

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 19:34 1

32. darkkjedii (Posts: 10283; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Does it have an "I" in it?

posted on 15 Nov 2013, 00:26

34. taikucing (unregistered)


only 911 has the same design.
Do 918 Hybrid & Carrera GT have the same design?

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 03:02 7

2. hossamaltarawneh (Posts: 16; Member since: 18 Oct 2013)


Ibet these machines manufactured by Samsung :)

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 03:21 7

3. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)


Good equipment is useless without a good designer. Jony Ive is the most overrated product designer of the decade. I mean, who the hell makes a perfectly nice looking desktop look like a trash can?

Not to mention his new Leica camera "design". And I won't even talk about IOS 7.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/10/4824290/jony-ive-leica-camera-took-nine-months-55-engineers-to-build

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 04:03 7

4. JMartin22 (Posts: 753; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


You obviously don't have artist vision good sir! /sarcasm

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 04:23 9

5. ardent1 (Posts: 1991; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


Bromides and opinions for the febble-minded.

The Lecia camera is going towards charity. Some people are doing good for the world, while those without the talent are just being haters.

There is a reason why Apple products are desirable -- Apple really cares about its designs and build quality. My iPhone 5S is about 4 ounces. It still amazes me Apple could put in so much technology and materials with 10 hour battery life in such a small device. My last smartphone -- the Moto Triumph -- only lasted 3.5 hours between charges. It's so nice not to carry a juice pack or constantly worrying about the phone dying.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 04:50 4

6. gaurang (Posts: 94; Member since: 16 Nov 2012)


+1...his designs are surely overhyped...

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 05:54 9

7. Sauce (unregistered)


So many haters who lack an artistic and classy eye.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 05:59 2

9. darkkjedii (Posts: 10283; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


+1 sauce

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 05:58 2

8. darkkjedii (Posts: 10283; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Apples about to step their game up in a major way. Can't wait to but em...all!

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 06:46

10. orca99 (Posts: 87; Member since: 05 Oct 2013)


A big chunk of that investment is for machineries and equipment relating to the production of new material for the body parts. In addition to the traditional platic, aluminum and magnesium bodies, they have been researching for a new material for a long time.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 10:48 1

21. darkkjedii (Posts: 10283; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I wanna see what these new bigger, redesigned iPhones look like next year. The screen size increase isn't a need, but I'd welcome it. The tides have changed tremendously in favor of them.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 11:38 1

24. saffant (Posts: 211; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)


It's most DEFINITELY a need. But sure, they can keep the limited screen sized options for those who are still behind the curve... transition takes time. They should offer two models as a result.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 12:45

25. darkkjedii (Posts: 10283; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Agreed +1

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 15:06 1

26. ThePython (Posts: 220; Member since: 08 May 2013)


Ugh, so many people who fail to see the beauty of a great design.

posted on 15 Nov 2013, 04:57

35. Ashoaib (Posts: 1260; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


probably Samsung will be the manufacturer of their equipement and then apple will bring a law suit against samsung for copying and will steal all the profit samsung will earned from manufacturing this plant

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