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Hardware supply chain trial production encounters difficulties From the MR device that has repeatedly jumped tickets, we can glimpse Apple's meta-universe ambitions

via:凤凰网     time:2022/6/3 17:06:15     readed:353

Jiwei network news WWDC 2022 global developer conference is about to be held, many predictions about Apple's new products are also controversial, and more news said that Apple may release AR/MR headset devices that have "jumped tickets" many times at this WWDC.

However, Guo Mingqi responded to this statement in a tweet on May 31.He believes that since it will take some time for Apple's AR/MR headset to enter mass production, it will not release AR/MR headsets and rumored realityOS at this year's WWDC.

Some analysts revealed to Jiwei Network that the reason why the release date of this product has been postponed is mainly due to front-end design changes, and new design verification has been affected by the epidemic. "Originally released in September and October, now it will be mass production at the end of the year at the earliest, and the previous research and development process is more than two months late, because the redesign is related to the epidemic."

The optical design and assembly process did not go well

"We learned that the reason for Apple's change of design is mainly the problem of the optical part, the heat is serious, and it should be that the design of the lens and the optical waveguide need to be changed." The analyst added.

In fact, the terminal brand with heat problem is not only Apple, and at present, "how to achieve heat dissipation more effectively" has been a technical threshold that many headset devices cannot avoid.

The author learned from industry insiders that the optical design of the headset device will use a similar principle to micro-projection, and due to the longer the running time, the machine will start to heat up from the inside.If the machine cannot be dissipated continuously and effectively, there may be a phenomenon of "thermal out-of-focus".

Inside the machine lens, materials, structural parts and other types of parts will have the problem of "thermal expansion and contraction", each part of the heat resistance is different, the offset value is also different, which leads to the lens focus to move, the original clear picture will also become blurred due to the focal length deviation.

Industry insiders pointed out: "In order to achieve the purpose of efficient heat dissipation, each company's scheme is actually different, for example, the heat dissipation design of Apple's laptop is to export the internal heat through metal materials and structures, but there are also manufacturers who will use other ways such as cooling fans and heat dissipation pastes." ”

It should be pointed out that in order to be able to make differentiated products, Apple has used a very high configuration in the system, software content, display and other aspects of the MR headset device, and will also carry a main chip with super computing power, and in order to avoid overheating of the main chip, Apple has also designed a built-in cooling fan for it. If you strengthen the heat dissipation by adding fans in the optical link, it may limit the weight and volume of the end product.

The above-mentioned industry insiders believe: "The headset attaches great importance to the comfort of the user's wearing, and the previous large-scale popularization is because the product is inconvenient to carry and uncomfortable to wear, so Apple will definitely take into account the volume and weight, and then continue to increase the possibility of the built-in cooling fan will be relatively small, and it is more likely to take care of both ends by changing the material or design." ”

In addition to the less than expected development of parts, the progress of the assembly plant's test line seems to have become one of the reasons for the delay in the release.

Previously, JPMorgan Chase and Co. revealed a list of some Apple headset equipment suppliers in the forecast report, which involved optical design manufacturers including: Daliguang, Jinguoguang, which provide camera lenses, and Yujingguang and Yang Mingguang, suppliers of HMD Fresnel lenses. The whole machine assembly is responsible for Pegatron.

The analyst mentioned above told Jiwei Network: "Now even the foundry is not sure to determine the specific release time, the current progress of the assembly link is not very good, and the accuracy of the assembly of such products itself has a more obvious impact on the effect, so the requirements given by Apple should be very high." Although the supply chain is an industry-leading assembly plant, it is still more difficult to do. ”

Why can't it be done?

A manufacturer in Apple's supply chain told Jiwei Network: "The customer has the tightest grasp of the new product test line, so the problems found are also the most." Their purpose is to collect enough data in this link to repeatedly verify the design, process, materials and other problems, and solve them before entering mass production, so suppliers are the most "painful" at this stage. ”

According to its introduction, the new project test line of general consumer electronics is done with a small batch of materials, and perhaps hundreds of PCS are enough, and you can go to the next link. But Apple's projects are thousands of PCS used to test the line, at least 2-3000, they need to see enough data to verify the pass to the next link.

The other party also added: "Under normal circumstances, Apple will not easily modify the parameters and specifications of its design end, unless they personally look at the data in the trial production stage, the supplier can not do it after many attempts and efforts, and the more they do more and more losses, they will consider putting the specifications aside, but it is only a small adjustment." ”

In fact, the headset device is close to the human eye during use, and the previously released device will basically cause different degrees of discomfort due to the long time worn.If Apple relaxes the trial production requirements in order to successfully release, resulting in users in the process of use, it is actually more than worth the loss for brands like Apple.

In addition to the impact on the brand image, the rush to launch products that have not yet "matured" is not conducive to the competitive situation that Apple is currently facing.

Guo Mingqi particularly stressed in her Twitter that the reason why Apple will not release MR-related products or operating systems at this year's developer conference is also to emphasize the confidentiality of new product hardware specifications and operating systems, so as to avoid sales being affected by competitors of similar designs.

Since the second half of last year, it has triggered a wave of "meta-universe" fever in many industries such as science and technology, Internet, and finance.

In addition to the technology giants such as Meta, Google, and Huawei that we are familiar with, we have been laying out in this field for a long time, domestic Internet and financial companies such as WeBank, Tencent, NetEase, ByteDance, iQiyi and so on are also waiting to eat this market cake, and even many companies have released products before Apple.

At this point in time, the opportunity seems to have become less important for Apple, on the contrary, whether the product can be "blockbuster" is the most urgent issue in front of Apple.

From the perspective of consumers, in the past few years, users have seen, used, and purchased such products, and there are not a few, plus such products themselves are the products of consumption upgrades, and in the context of the economic environment, ordinary products have been unable to stimulate consumers' desire to buy.

From Apple's own point of view, "lack of innovation", "fried cold rice" such labels have been attached to the iPhone series of products for too long, and the mobile phone market demand has continued to shrink in the past two years, the growth of the TWS headset market has slowed down year by year, and Apple is also looking forward to launching another product that can become an industrial "weather vane" in the field of consumer electronics.

In addition to the expectation of this product line itself, the headset device can also build a small ecosystem with Apple's mobile phones, headphones, watches, iPads and even laptops, so that its multiple consumer electronic product lines can be interconnected, and more and new application scenarios can also bring new opportunities to "old products".While the product line of the headset device itself has strong profitability, it has also driven the original product line to achieve a new round of growth, expanded the overall sales scale of the consumer electronics business, and improved the comprehensive profit level of the product.

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