Apple is reportedly working to build a supply chain made up of all China-based suppliers for manufacturing iPhones made specifically for the Chinese market.
DigiTimes reports the assessment is based on two recent moves by Apple suppliers Luxshare and Lens Technology to acquire metal chassis plants operated in China by Taiwan-based makers. Apple is said to be encouraging such moves.
Luxshare, the largest assembler of AirPods, has newly joined the iPhone assembly chain by acquiring lower-end iPhone production lines in China from Taiwan’s Wistron, the sources said. To further expand its presence in the iPhone supply chain, Luxshare also has been keenly seeking to take over metal chassis plants in China from Taiwan-based firms in the iPhone supply chain.
Taiwan’s metal chassis maker Catcher Technology reportedly had been in negotiations to sell off 30% of its stake in Chinese plants to Luxshare. However, talks were suspended after Luxshare began negotiating with Pegatron’s affiliate Casetek Holdings over purchasing its metal chassis plants in China, say DigiTimes sources. Catcher Technology was also in discussions with China’s handset cover glass maker Lens Technology on selling its plants in Suzhou to the Chinese maker, but the deal stalled over the asking price.
The moves are seen to be a part of Apple’s efforts to recruit more Chinese suppliers to provide lower-cost components for iPhones destined for the Chinese market. Apple is working to diversify its overseas production bases, as several recent reports indicate that several Apple suppliers are working to set up production facilities in India.