[News] Vision Pro Chip Analysis Highlights Texas Instruments as the Major Chip Supplier

2024-02-16 Emerging Technologies editor

Despite the ongoing intensity of the US-China tech war, Apple has been gradually leaning towards a more diversified supply chain, especially in the production of its latest head-worn device, Vision Pro. As per a report from Commercial Times, upon examination, it is revealed that the major supplier in chip manufacturing for this device is Texas Instruments (TI).

However, other components, such as the NOR Flash memory, originate from Chinese manufacturer GigaDevice, with the assembling being shifted from Taiwan-based facilities, previously relied upon, to Luxshare Precision.

On February 7th, following an in-depth teardown of internal components by the repair website iFixit, it was discovered that within the Vision Pro main unit, speakers, and external power supply, there are not only Apple’s self-developed processor chips but also multiple Apple-designed power management chips. It’s noteworthy that TI serves as the primary chip supplier in the Vision Pro.

Yet, surprisingly, there are NOR Flash from the Chinese memory manufacturer GigaDevice. As the US-China tech war continues to escalate, Apple’s use of memory from a Chinese manufacturer raises concerns in the market about whether it may cross the red line set by the US government.

In fact, in recent years, Apple’s products such as the iPhone, MacBook, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods have leaned towards Chinese suppliers like Luxshare, Wingtech, BYD, and GoerTek in the assembling sector, while Taiwanese suppliers like Foxconn, Quanta, Pegatron, and Compal, which Apple used to heavily rely on, are gradually fading out of the supply chain.

The assembly for Vision Pro has also shifted from Pegatron to Luxshare. While Taiwanese suppliers are gradually reducing their reliance on Apple, they are simultaneously diversifying into emerging fields such as artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, and smart healthcare.

On the other hand, despite the strong sales of Vision Pro since its launch in the United States in mid-January, reports surfaced of a wave of returns within just two weeks. The most cited reasons by consumers include discomfort when wearing, eye fatigue, and unsatisfactory software experiences, prompting buyers to opt for returns within the 14-day return window.

Some early adopters also expressed that the current productivity and entertainment experiences offered by Vision Pro do not justify its high price point. Additionally, they find its interactive features insufficiently convenient for tasks such as programming, design, and presentation editing.

TrendForce has previously reported that one of the main issues impacting the Vision Pro is its hefty price tag. The $3499 price point, although seemingly steep, is expected to resonate with the market, especially given the promise of ample applications, a quality user experience, and Apple’s established brand loyalty.

Additionally, should Apple introduce a more budget-friendly version as speculated, the premium pricing of the Vision Pro could serve to accentuate the value proposition of the more economical model, potentially driving consumer interest towards it.

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(Photo credit: Apple)

Please note that this article cites information from Commercial Times and iFixit.