Apple Diversifying iPhone Assembly Partnerships

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Apple is widely reported to be planning to broaden the number of companies it uses to assemble its iPhone handsets... to two firms.

Currently, Foxconn has a near monopoly on iPhone assembly work, but Taiwan's Pegatron is now expected to get the contract for at least one of the upcoming iPhone models -- likely to be the rumoured low-cost handset based on the iPhone 4.

It's not the first iPhone contract the company has won, as it became a minor producer of iPhones in 2011, but this new contract would mark a significant shift in how Apple spreads the contracts amongst different companies.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal pointed to strategic reasons for the shift: risk diversification after Foxconn's manufacturing glitches last year with the iPhone 5 that resulted in scratches on the metal casings.

Foxconn has also suffered publicity problems over working conditions in China, which hurt Apple's brand image. However, Pegatron has itself also had problems, including a factory explosion in 2011 which was blamed on poor working conditions.

Apple's continued reliance on Chinese assembly plants is in marked contract to Motorola Mobility which confirmed earlier this week that its new smartphones will be assembled in the USA.

On the web: Wall Street Journal

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Tags: apple  apple iphone  pegatron  foxconn 

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