The Chinese-language Economic Daily News has reported that a bidding war of potential component suppliers is nearly over. Unlike the previous "news flashes," EDN not only has journalistic street cred, but may actually have sources within Apple's Taiwanese supply chain
and manufacturing facilities.
Right now, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) are the front-runners to supply the guts of the NanoPhone. Additional rumors swirl of a full chip order this March (for a possible June rollout), and of Qualcomm, rather than Infineon, providing the baseband controller.
Apple's strong real-world revenues and high iPhone gross margins have long fanned hints that a US$99.00 iPhone is a logical next step. AT&T insiders insist that such a device has not yet hit their testing labs; however, this could also mean that the NanoPhone might be intended for Pacific Rim release only.
Again: we'll believe it when we see it…