updated 08:35 am EDT, Tue July 17, 2007
Supplier Fight for iPhone
A struggle is underway between companies hoping to build future iPhone production runs, according to claimed sources within Taiwan's electronics business. While Foxconn has been identified by financial group Goldman Sachs as the principal supplier for Apple to date, frequent Apple production partner Quanta has admitted that it hopes to earn at least some orders for the device. Local rival Inventec is also involved in competition, according to the report. However, Foxconn is still expected to be the favored producer for the iPhone because its existing commitment gives it an edge in manufacturing extra models. Adding second or third companies would primarily be to reduce the impact should Foxconn need to halt production, according to the report.
Taiwan's part makers may also be competing for future models, however. Goldman Sachs has claimed that responsibility for the iPhone in Europe will be split between Foxconn and Quanta, but notes that the decision of who will manufacture the iPhone for its Asian release is still uncertain and has led to Foxconn, Inventec, and Quanta all vying for the deal.
Quanta may nevertheless have won a contract for a second-generation iPhone, according to a separate report from the region's Commercial Times newspaper. The company is allegedly working with touchscreen supplier Wintek to manufacture a lower-cost iPhone that would sell for between $249-299. If true, test production will have already begun with expectations of shipments by September -- just three months after the release of the original iPhone. Quanta has officially denied the report but is not immediately supported by Wintek, which instead points to customer confidentiality.
Wintek has already been cited in an earlier report this month as responsible for a touchscreen to be used in the next video iPod and also issued a similar statement at the time.