Apple has brought Chinese electronics maker Luxshare Precision Industry into its iPhone 13 production mix alongside Foxconn and Pegatron. The company currently manufactures several iPhone components, but the move marks the first time Luxshare will actually assemble the full handset.
Luxshare has made AirPods, as well as haptic engine modules, camera modules, and metal frames for iPhones. The company has never engaged in the final iPhone assembly process.
While Apple has in the past brought new iPhone assemblers into the fold, it usually eases them into the process by assigning older iPhone models to the newbie at first. However, as pointed out by Nikkei Asia, this isn’t the case this time around.
Apple is tapping more suppliers in China for key roles in producing the latest iPhone, a sign that the country’s technological competitiveness is continuing to increase despite Washington’s attempts to rein in Beijing’s tech ambitions.
Chinese electronics maker Luxshare Precision Industry will build up to 3% of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, winning orders away from Taiwanese rivals Foxconn and Pegatron, Nikkei Asia has learned. Apple is slated to produce between 90 million and 95 million of the new iPhones through January.
Luxshare will start building the iPhone 13 Pro — as the premium model is expected to be called — this month, according to sources, a major breakthrough for a company that has never produced iPhones on its own. Newcomers to the Apple supply chain normally start out making older iPhone models.
Since Luxshare is expected to produce only 3% of the iPhone 13 supply, Apple won’t take a huge hit if the company proves to be inept at building handsets. Luxshare’s piece of the action will likely increase if things go well.