Apple is said to be contracting additional manufacturers to build new iPhones and iPads for it as rumors of shortages continue to plague its fall launches, reports The Wall Street Journal. While Apple's primary manufacturer has long been Foxconn, it will reportedly begin working with Wistron to produce additional iPhone 5Cs and with Compal Communications to produce additional iPad minis. Wistron's production is expected to begin later this year, while Compal Communications' will begin early in 2014.
"Apple can't find other assemblers ... to meet demand immediately."
Though supplies of the iPhone 5C have appeared abundant, Apple has been dealing with shortages of the iPhone 5S and has already warned that supplies of the upcoming iPad mini with Retina display may be short going into the holiday season. One Foxconn executive, speaking anonymously, told the Journal that it's been cautious about expanding production solely for Apple. Be it increased demand or more complicated assembly that's led to the shortages, Foxconn's reticence may require that Apple begin to look elsewhere.
"Apple has raised this quarter's iPhone 5S orders from Hon Hai [Foxconn] as demand has been stronger than expected," the executive reportedly said. "But it takes time to boost production capacity and Apple can't find other assemblers to increase production to meet demand immediately." Offloading orders for the iPhone 5C, which is currently built by both Foxconn and Pegatron, might allow Apple to better address the shortages of its flagship device.
One of Apple's new manufacturers, Wistron, currently builds smartphones for Nokia and BlackBerry, while the other, Compal Communications, currently builds tablets for Lenovo and smartphones for both Sony and Nokia, reports the Journal. Though it doesn't sound like either partner will begin work in time to widely bolster supplies of Apple's star products before the holidays, the expanded production could help Apple begin catching up with demand shortly thereafter.