Apple adds third company to exclusive list of iPhone manufacturers

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iPhone XS Max
Foxconn doesn’t assemble every iPhone. And soon there’ll be another company putting together iOS handsets.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly will expand the number of companies that can assemble iPhones. Luxshare Precision could join a rather exclusive club, according to reliable analyst, supposedly to reduce the risk that problems with one manufacturer will cause a shortage of iPhone units.

Luxshare Precision makes three iPhone producers

Foxconn assembles iOS handsets in a Zhengzhou plant so large it’s sometimes called “iPhone City.” But it’s not alone. Pegatron also assembles iPhones.

And they’ll be joined by Luxshare, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with TF International Securities, in a research note seen by MacRumors.

In it, Kuo says “The key reason we make this prediction is because the new ‌iPhone‌ product cycle is shortened, so if Luxshare Precision can enter the ‌iPhone‌ assembly business, it is expected to reduce Apple’s new ‌iPhone‌ development and supply risk.”

Apple isn’t bringing a new company into the fold. Luxshare already makes AirPods. And it produces iPhone components.

Plus, it’ll allegedly take on other significant products, too. Kuo expects Luxshare to make the Apple Watch that’s on the docket for this fall.

Expanding iPhone production out of China?

Some get made in India, but most iPhones are assembled in China. It’s not clear if Luxshare intends to do its iPhone production in another country.

Recently, the company indicated it wanted to expand its production in Vietnam, but Kuo’s research note today didn’t say anything about the company making iOS handsets outside of China.

Still, there would certainly be advantages. Foxconn is struggling to meet iPhone production quotas at its Chinese plants because of problems caused by the coronavirus. By contrast, Samsung is experiencing no such difficulties because so many of its handsets are made in Vietnam.