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Apple chip suppliers gearing up capacity for 'iPhone 7' production - report

Right on schedule for a fall product launch, Apple's suppliers are said to be reserving "a significant portion" of production capacities for the second and third quarters of 2016, ahead of the highly anticipated "iPhone 7" launch.

Major partners in Apple's supply chain are said to be setting aside capacity for Apple's next-generation handset, according to sources who spoke with DigiTimes. Specifically, it was said that Cirrus Logic and Analog Devices are planning to devote a major chunk of their operations for Apple's so-called "iPhone 7."

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is also said to be gearing up to build most —or potentially all —of Apple's next-generation "A10" processor, widely assumed to power the new iPhone. TSMC is planning to begin volume production of 16-nanometer FinFET process chips in the second quarter of 2016, the report said.

DigiTimes has a mixed track record in predicting Apple's future product plans, but its supply chain sources have supplied advance information on key partnerships in the past. And given the fact that new iPhones have debuted in the fall for years, the timing makes sense.

The publication's latest report claimed that parts from Cirrus Logic and Analog Devices will play a significant role in allowing the "iPhone 7" to be even thinner than the current iPhone 6s design.

In particular, Analog Devices is reportedly the supplier of driver components for a rumored dual lens camera said to include optical image stabilization and zoom for superior pictures. Rumors have suggested the new dual-lens design may be limited to the larger "iPhone 7 Plus" variant.

Despite being thinner, the new iPhone is expected to ditch the camera bump found on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6, returning to a flat back with new lens technology. Reports have also suggested Apple will ditch the prominent rear casing antenna lines that have been found on the last two generations of iPhone.