Japan's parts makers play big role in new iPhones


TOKYO/KYOTO - A teardown of Apple's iPhone 6s models reveals that Japanese electronic parts makers contribute much to bringing the new features of the latest iPhones to reality.

The US consumer electronics giant continues to rely on Japanese makers for key components of the iPhone, such as cameras, liquid crystal display panels, sensors and lithium-ion batteries.

One of iPhone 6s' prominent features is the so-called 3D Touch. It enables the new models - the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus - to sense three different levels of pressure the user applies to the screen. What's more, the new models are equipped with the Taptic Engine that gives the user a more precise level of Taptic, which is Apple's feedback vibrator.

Consumer electronics makers often face a host of technical challenges when they bring new features to their products. To avoid such a problem, it seems that Apple relies on Japanese electronic parts makers for their ability to deliver technological solutions. "Once again, I have realised how much Apple depends on Japanese makers," said Minatake Kashio, director of Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, a Tokyo-based mobile equipment teardown company.

Kashio believes Japanese makers, such as Nippon Mektron, Nippon Steel & Sumikin Chemical and JX Nippon Mining & Metals, are involved in the supply of pressure-sensitive sensors used to enable the 3D Touch function. According to his analysis, the Taptic Engine is supplied by Kyoto-based motor maker Nidec and Chinese micro-component provider AAC Technologies.

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