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The iPhone assembly market is about to get a little more competitive after a recent filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange by Wistron to sell two of its manufacturing plants to Luxshare Group.
The news was announced through several news agencies who learned of the intended sale through a public filing by Wistron, which operates two plants in Kunshan and Jiangsu in China. The move is intended to rival iPhone assembler giants Foxconn and Pegatron.
The sale to Luxshare Group has a tentative value of RMB 3.3 billion or approximately $360 million, according to news sources reporting the filing.
It also comes on the heels of Apple’s challenge to its suppliers to diversify production of its products, namely iPhones, AirPods and MacBooks amid the COVID-19 outbreak in China.
News sources say the move by Wistron and Luxshare is an effort to make a major investment in the complex process of assembling the smartphones, and give Apple an alternative to Taiwan-based Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker and Apple’s biggest supplier.
Sources say Luxshare, a key supplier of AirPods, wants to open a manufacturing plant in India. The company started by making cables and connectors, then moved into AirPods and Apple Watches. Assembling iPhones is a much more complicated and precise process, so acquiring the two Chinese plants will give Luxshare an advantage as it seeks to rival Foxconn.