Hon Hai Precision Industry (aka Foxconn), one of the best known manufacturers of Apple products, has sold over 10,000 televisions to consumers in Taiwan. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the company began selling 7-Eleven branded TVs through a partnership with the retailer back in June, and the pair say they might cooperate to bring smartphones and tablets to Taiwanese stores in the future. Traditionally, Hon Hai has played the role of Original Device Manufacturer — a company that manufactures a product to another company's specifications — with the 7-Eleven partnership, it's creating its own products and adding a 7-Eleven badge at the end.
While the small-scale sale of TVs in Taiwan is unlikely to trouble industry giants like Samsung, LG, and Sony, it's a very public demonstration of Hon Hai's ambition to be much more than a manufacturer for third parties. The company, which is China's largest electronics exporter, currently builds a number of high-profile devices, reportedly including the iPhone, iPad, PlayStation 3, Kindle e-reader, and Wii U console. Last year Hon Hai agreed to buy a 50-percent stake in one of Sharp's advanced display manufacturing plants, and also attempted to buy 10-percent of the struggling Japanese company, although the deal fell through as the pair disagreed on its value.