Apple is bringing on additional Chinese suppliers, including Luxshare Precision Industry, into its supply chain in order to meet its ambitious targets for ‘iPhone 13’ later this year.
It’s been previously reported that Apple is increasing its production for its upcoming iPhone 13 by 20 percent. In order to reach the target of 90 million units through January, Apple has tapped Luxshare Precision to assist. According to a report from Nikkei Asia, Luxshare Precision will be working on the ‘iPhone 13 Pro’, starting this month.
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. Two companies that Luxshare acquired last year, South Korean camera module maker Cowell and metal frame maker Casetek of Taiwan, will also supply key components and parts for this year’s new iPhones, sources familiar with the matter said.
Although Luxshare Precision was granted a role in the supply chain, the company has only won roughly three percent of orders away from Taiwanese rivals Foxconn and Pegatron. Rival suppliers are said to be keeping an eye on the development of this deal. One senior executive of an undisclosed iPhone supplier told Nikkei, “If we don’t strengthen our competitiveness, sooner or later they will be the major source.”
News of Luxshare Precision entering the fray into the iPhone 13 supply chain comes at a time when U.S. trade continues to place restrictions on China. This reportedly also comes at the expense of rivals located directly in the US, as well as Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.
Nikkei points out that Lens Technology, based in China, will be providing metal casing for the first time. Typically, the company has only supplied glass backs and glass covers for previous iPhones. Additionally, Sunny Optical Technology has reportedly been brought into the iPhone supply chain to supply rear camera lenses.