updated 07:45 am EST, Mon February 13, 2012
Pegatron maybe pressed to choose Apple vs ASUS
A tentative rumor has had Pegatron allegedly forced to choose between manufacturing ASUS' Zenbooks and Apple's iOS devices. Taiwan's Commercial Times had heard that Apple was supposedly unhappy with the similarity to the MacBook Air and didn't want one of its own contractors to be making what was perceived to be a clone. If it happened, production wouldn't stop until at least March and would be outsourced to a nearby contractor like Compal or Wistron.
Pegatron is a known iPhone manufacturer and helps shoulder some of the load from Foxconn. It's believed to be courting iPad production and, it's implied, may have had to concentrate its focus as a precondition to winning orders.
Such a claim is a contentious one and would fly in the face of Pegatron's own history. The contractor used to be ASUS' official manufacturing wing and, although it was spun out, has still regularly been picked by its former parent company to produce devices. Having to give up what's considered one of ASUS' core products would be a more difficult choice than for most.
If the switch is happening at all, it could also have more benign motivating factors. Pegatron has much more limited production capacity than Foxconn and may have simply decided that iPhone and iPad production in the available space was more lucrative. ASUS is known to have shipped just a few hundred thousand Zenbooks in the fall where Apple moved 37 million iPhones and 15.4 million iPads, which even for a smaller company like Pegatron still means millions of orders.
Pegatron has been reached for comment, but hadn't had an opportunity to respond as of Monday morning.